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Kansas City's Big 12 Basketball Tournament Is Canceled, As Are SEC And WAC Tourneys

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Julie Denesha
/
KCUR 89.3
The only games of the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City that will be open to fans are Wednesday night at the Sprint Center.

Update: 12:05 noon, March 12.

Following a wave of suspensions, postponements and cancellations in the sports world, the Big 12 Conference announced on Thursday that the men's and women's basketball tournaments in Kansas City have been cancelled as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The announcement by the Big 12 was precipitated by Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas's declaration of a state of emergency in Kansas City.

Two men's basketball games were held at Sprint Center on Wednesday night. The women's tournament was scheduled to begin with two evening games at Municipal Auditorium on Thursday night.

“After consultation with our Board of Directors it was decided that cancelling these championships was in the best interest of the health and safety of our student-athletes,” Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a written statement.

Bowlsby also addressed the media shortly before the first game of the day was scheduled to begin between Texas and Texas Tech.

The cancellations were also felt by the Missouri Tigers men's and women's teams after the SEC canceled its tournaments earlier in the day.

The WAC also canceled its tournaments in Las Vegas, which affects the UMKC men's and women's teams. The UMKC women were the No. 1 seed as the regular season champion.

Greg Echlin is a freelance sports reporter for KCUR 89.3.

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