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The NCAA Tournament is officially cancelled

The Coronavirus pandemic has brought public events around the globe to a halt and March Madness is the latest victim.

NCAA Basketball: Big East Tournament-Xavier vs DePaul
We lost our chance to see this guy go out on top
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Per the official release from the NCAA:

There is really no way to spin this other than as the unfortunate result of a global pandemic, which has been implemented to minimize the chances of a more unfortunate result, namely people dying. Things have progressed incredibly quickly in the past 24 hours as various bodies decided to play games without fans before ultimately cancelling their events, the Big East being among the last to do so in both instances. Ultimately, many institutions both within and outside the sports world have made the choice to forgo major money making opportunities for the sake of public safety as the Coronavirus continues to spread in various parts of the world.

While there will be a lot of things to work out as a result of this decision (who, if anyone is named National Champion being among them) the die is cast now and there will be no NCAA Tournament this year. It is surreal and disappointing, but nothing compared to potentially seeing friends, neighbors, co workers, or other loved ones affected by preventable deaths due to institutional negligence.

There will be more news to come, and I am sure we are not done writing about this previously unthinkable circumstance, but for now the priority is clear for us to stay safe, afford one another some grace, and ultimately seek out the good for those who are in need during this time. After all, while we looked forward to cheering on our favored schools next week, we are all on the same team as human beings and this is a timely reminder of that fact.