NHL puts season on ice for now
NEW YORK (AP) — The world’s sports schedule cratered at warp speed Thursday, with one of the biggest events on the U.S. calendar, the fun-filled and colorful college basketball tournament known as March Madness, becoming the first mega-event to be scrubbed due to fear of the spread of the coronavirus.
Leaders at all levels of sports, including the NCAA, NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball, golf, tennis and soccer, decided the risk of playing games with the threat of the virus hanging over them was too great despite the billions of dollars — to say nothing of the trophies, pride and once-in-a-lifetime experiences — hanging in the balance.
By late in the afternoon of an extraordinary, headline-a-minute day across a pandemic-rattled globe, the NCAA, which regulates March Madness and virtually all major U.S. college sports, basically had no choice.
With conferences and individual teams calling off their basketball seasons at breakneck pace, the NCAA followed suit.
They scrapped all college winter and spring championships, the highlight of which is the men’s basketball tournament — a three-week extravaganza that stands as the biggest event this side of the Super Bowl on the U.S. sports calendar.