The world of sports is falling like dominoes. League suspensions and cancelations are dropping rapidly across all platforms. It was a matter of time before the Southeastern Conference took action. This morning, the Southeastern Conference announced the remainder of the 2020 SEC Tournament in Nashville, Tennessee, has been canceled due to the outbreak of Coronavirus.
An hour before the Alabama and Tennessee tipoff, the SEC made their decision:
ALERT: Based on the latest developments and the continued spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Southeastern Conference today announced the cancellation of the remainder of the 2020 Men’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville.
— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) March 12, 2020
After just one day of play, the SEC took action to protect all involved. All power-five schools, along with other conferences, have canceled their respective tournaments as well. The decision came after Wednesday’s announcement to continue play with essential staff and limited family. In regards to the tournament, the SEC will award regular-season champions, the University of Kentucky, the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. This is the first year since 1979 there will be no SEC Tournament champion.
“We understand that this decision will be disappointing to our student-athletes and coaches who have been preparing all season to compete in this event as well as viewers at home,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “While this was not an easy decision, the health and well-being of our entire SEC community is of paramount importance.”
During a press conference regarding the cancelation of the tournament, Sankey clarifies that this is the best possible decision based on the best information available and the safety of all involved. Therefore, full ticket refunds will be available for people who purchased from the SEC Office or SEC Ticket Exchange. The NCAA Tournament decision will come tomorrow. The SEC reminds everyone to be attentive to everyday preventive actions identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) March 12, 2020