CLEVELAND — Shortly after its first game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Thursday was set to tip-off, the Mid-American Tournament announced that it has canceled the remainder of its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.
The MAC is the latest athletic conference to cancel its basketball tournaments over concerns relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19). In addition to the MAC, the Big Ten, SEC, ACC, Big 12, Pac-12, AAC and Ivy League have each canceled their respective tournaments.
On Wednesday, the NCAA said that the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments would continue with only essential personnel in attendance. The MAC Tournament had been taking place under the same guidelines and was scheduled to do so through its championship game on Saturday.
Should the NCAA Tournament continue as planned, MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said that the regular-season champions, Akron (men's) and Central Michigan (women's) would receive the league's automatic bids.
The cancelation of the MAC Tournament comes just hours after the NBA suspended its season after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Gobert was with the Jazz when they faced the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 2.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Gobert's teammate, guard Donovan Mitchell, has also tested positive for COVID-19.
With conference tournaments across the country canceled, the attention of the sports world will now be on the NCAA Tournament, which is scheduled to begin with the "First Four" in Dayton next week. Cleveland is slated to host first and second-round games at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse next week.