LAS CRUCES, New Mexico — The NCAA has canceled its men's and women's basketball tournaments because of the spread of coronavirus, putting an abrupt end to the season less than a month before champions were to be crowned.
The New Mexico State men's team was poised to be a potential March Madness contender after a 19-game straight wins, the longest win streak in all of college basketball. While disappointed at the abrupt ending of the season, the Aggies coach and players understand the decision.
"As much as you may not like it from your own personal perspective either as a coach, a player, a fan, or what have you. I understand why. And it's the moral thing to do, it's the right thing to do to stop the spread of this awful virus. To try to contain it as best we can. I think that opponent is the hardest, because you can't see it. We're not used to fighting an opponent that you can't see. So I think for all of us, it's difficult to comprehend. It was a rough meeting we just had," said NMSU head coach Chris Jans after breaking the news to his team.
The decision came a day after the NCAA announced the games that were scheduled to start next week would go on, but played in mostly empty arenas.
That plan was scrapped as every major American sports league from the NBA to MLB put the brakes on its season due to concerns about the pandemic.
The NCAA also canceled all of its spring championships in every sport, which include hockey, baseball and lacrosse.