GREENSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – In an abrupt change, the Atlantic Coast Conference has canceled the remainder of the 2020 men’s basketball tournament over COVID-19 concerns.
The announcement came as Florida State players were warming up for their 12:30 p.m. tip against Clemson.
At 10:45 a.m., Commissioner John Swofford said the quarterfinal games would played Thursday without fans.
At 12:15 p.m., the ACC released the following statement:
“Following additional consultation with the league’s presidents and athletic directors, and in light of the continued conversations surrounding the fluidity of COVID-19, the Atlantic Coast Conference will immediately cancel the remainder of the 2020 ACC Tournament. For NCAA Tournament automatic qualification purposes, Florida State will represent the league as the ACC Champion. We are disappointed for our student-athletes, schools and fans to have to make this decision; however, the overall health and safety of all involved is the priority.”
Florida State, the No. 1 seed in the tournament, was named champions following the cancellation.
Swofford presented the tournament championship trophy to the Seminoles in a brief ceremony on the court.
Florida State would represent the ACC in the NCAA Tournament if that tournament occurs, Swofford said.
The ACC’s cancellation comes as 12 other conferences also ended their men’s tournaments.
The SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, PAC 12, American, Atlantic 10, Conference USA, MAC, America East, Big Sky and WAC all made the choice to cancel.
A total of 14 coronavirus cases have been reported in North Carolina as of noon Thursday.
More COVID-19 headlines:
- NC reports 7,986 new COVID-19 cases Saturday, total deaths surpass 8,000
- Sampson County church to host concert as NC continues to grapple with COVID-19 pandemic
- New Jersey causes stir by making smokers eligible for COVID-19 vaccine
- COVID-19 impacting babies with 6,000+ cases reported in NC so far
- NC changes vaccine plan to focus on simplicity and speed