The NCAA is canceling March Madness


DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA – JANUARY 28: Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils reacts during the first half of their game against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 28, 2020 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

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 (CNN) — The NCAA announced Thursday it is canceling March Madness, the men’s Division 1 basketball tournament, and other winter and spring NCAA championships.

[Previous story, published at 3:49 p.m. ET]

Five-time national champion Duke University will not play in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament because of coronavirus concerns, the school announced Thursday.

The private university in Durham, North Carolina, is suspending its sports programs for the “foreseeable future,” the school said in a statement.

Another basketball blue blood, the University of Kansas, said in a statement it was canceling athletic travel indefinitely. and athletics competitions have been suspended indefinitely.

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It was unclear whether next week’s NCAA basketball tournaments were part of the Kansas halt to athletics.

Mike Krzyzewski, coach of the 10th-ranked Blue Devils, said he emphatically supported Duke’s decision.

“The welfare of our student-athletes, and all students at Duke, is paramount, and this decision reflects that institutional priority,” he said.

The NCAA said Wednesday it plans to play the men’s and women’s tournaments in front of essential staff and some family members.

The unranked Duke women’s team finished third in the ACC regular season and was expected to be selected for the NCAA tournament.

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