USD women qualify for NCAA Tournament dance, but general public will have to stay home

UNDATED (AP) – March Madness is giving way to March Silence.

NCAA President Mark Emmert says its Division I basketball tournament games will not be open to the general public because of concerns about the spread of coronavirus. Emmert said in a statement that he made the decision to conduct both the men’s and women’s tournaments with only essential staff and limited family in attendance.

The decision comes after the NCAA’s COVID-19 advisory panel of medical experts recommended against playing sporting events open to the general public.

Emmert says canceling the two tournaments was considered.

The USD women and North Dakota State men’s basketball teams have both qualified for the NCAA tournament after winning Summit League Tournament titles in Sioux Falls this week.