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SEC will not allow fans to attend Men’s Basketball Tournament due to coronavirus concerns

It’s going to be a quiet weekend.

NCAA Basketball: SEC Tournament-Kentucky vs Arkansas Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Falling in line with just about every other major conference tonight, the SEC has made the decision to keep fans out of the stands for the remainder of the men’s basketball tournament in Nashville this week due to concerns over the coronavirus.

The NCAA announced earlier today that the NCAA Tournament will be played without fans in attendance. The NIT will follow the same procedures. The SEC Tournament got underway tonight with two games with fans present. For the rest of the week, that will not be the case.

The SEC issued the following statement from Commissioner Greg Sankey.

”In light of recent developments beyond our control related to the spread of the coronavirus, including a recommendation from the NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel, and after consultation with our member universities, we have made the difficult decision to hold the 2020 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville without spectators beginning with games of Thursday, March 12. Effective immediately, the policy will also apply to other SEC Championship events and on-campus regular season games scheduled through at least the end of March.

”After conferring with local and national health authorities, we remain confident in our ability to safeguard the health and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and other staff who will be participating as well as the limited number of family members and media who will be in attendance at the tournament.

”We regret the inconvenience and disappointment this decision has caused our fans, especially those who have already traveled to Nashville for the tournament.”

Tennessee and Alabama will play the first game of the day tomorrow, slated to tip-off at 1 p.m. ET. The game will be carried by SEC Network.