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BREAKING: MAC Tournament canceled due to coronavirus concerns


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Noises in Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse echo during halftime of a game between Central Michigan and Toledo March 11 in Cleveland, OH. Only family members and media personnel were allowed to attend the game.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The remainder of the Mid-American Conference basketball Tournament has been canceled. 

MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher announced Thursday the tournaments have been canceled due to coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns. 

"It is incredibly disappointing in terms of the kids having the chance to compete further because I know this is a pinnacle event and is something they look forward to," said MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher. "But simply from a public health standpoint, this seems the appropriate course of action." 

Central Michigan's women's team played Wednesday at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse and lost to Toledo in the quarterfinal game. 

The MAC joins a growing list of conferences to cancel conference tournaments. The Big Ten, SEC, ACC and Big 12 among other conferences have canceled their respective conference tournaments.

Professional leagues have either suspended or postponed play. In the NBA, which suspended the season indefinitely on Wednesday, Utah Jazz players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell both tested positive for the coronavirus. 

The Jazz played at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse against Cleveland on March 2. 

Len Komoroski, the CEO of the Cavaliers, said the arena undergoes a "significant sanitation process after each event" and five events separated Utah's visit to the MAC making its way in. 

"The timeline obviously with the affected player with the Jazz," Komoroski said. "From what we're understanding based on incubation period and actually where symptoms appear and given the length of time from when the Jazz were in town until when last night occurred, would suggest that the risk was very low that the affected player actually had contracted it and had that while he was in Cleveland."

Before the MAC games in Cleveland began on Wednesday, the conference issued a restricted attendance policy where only parents of student-athletes, credentialed institution members, credentialed media, television and radio crews and essential staff were admitted. 

The NCAA announced Wednesday its Division I men's and women's tournaments would be closed to the general public but would be played. 

Steinbrecher said automatic qualifiers for the NCAA Tournament will revert back to the regular season champions in the MAC. 

If the tournament is played, the Central Michigan women's team would receive the automatic bid. 

"We have no information on what their decision is," Steinbrecher said. 

Steinbrecher said there has been no determination on spring sports and whether or not the MAC has made any changes. 

This is a developing story, check with Central Michigan Life for further updates. 

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