GREENSBORO, N.C. (WBTV) - The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) men’s basketball tournament has suspended all athletic-related activities as North Carolina is under a state of emergency due to coronavirus concerns.
This comes after all major conference basketball tournaments were canceled Thursday, including the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12, ACC, Big East and Big South.
Other tournaments stopped included the Atlantic 10, AAC, MAC, Big Sky, WAC, Big West, Conference USA, Sun Belt and Southland. The Ivy League had previously canceled its games as well.
“The Atlantic Coast Conference has suspended all athletic related activities including all competition, formal and organized practice, recruiting and participation in NCAA championships until further notice," the ACC’s statement read.
Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency for North Carolina amid coronavirus concerns Tuesday. There are more than 10 total positive COVID-19 cases in the state.
“This is uncharted territory and the health and safety of our student-athletes and institutions remains our top priority. This decision is aimed to protect from the further spread of COVID-19. The decision was made following consultation with the league’s presidents and athletic directors to mitigate the further spread of COVID-19,” the remainder of the ACC statement read.
The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Florida State will represent the league as the ACC champion.
Fans streamed into the tournament Wednesday just as the NCAA was announcing that it’s tournament would not be open to fans. Fears over the coronavirus led to the NCAA decision.
In Greensboro, hand sanitizing stations were set up throughout the coliseum earlier Wednesday.
“Use common sense and self protection,” said Greg Knights who brought his whole family to the tournament to cheer on North Carolina State.
Everyone said they were aware of the virus but also said they would do what was necessary to stay safe.
Natalie and Will Thomas traveled to Greensboro from Louisville for the tournament. They just recently returned from New Zealand and already have a cruise to the Caribbean set up for next month. Both are 70 years old but said they did not fear the coronavirus.
“You got to go on living life,” said Will.
Natalie said they will, however, be aware of their surroundings and wash hands often.
“I do it five or six times a day now,” she said.