2020 CBI tournament canceled amid growing coronavirus outbreak concerns

The 2020 NCAA Tournament is still proceeding as planned, but the College Basketball Invitational (CBI), a postseason tournament founded in 2007 that consists of 16 teams from across the country, has canceled its event due to concerns over coronavirus outbreaks across the country.

“Due to the uncertainty about the coronavirus and the impact it is having on college campuses across the country, we have decided to cancel the 2020 College Basketball Invitational,” the Gazelle Group, which founded the event, said in a statement. “As colleges and universities are making difficult and complex health and risk management decisions about conducting sporting events, it became apparent to us that this was the most prudent course of action.”

The CBI is the second postseason basketball tournament to outright cancel its event. On Tuesday, the Ivy League announced regular-season winners would represent the league in the NCAA Tournament, deciding to cancel the men’s and women’s postseason tournaments over coronavirus concerns. The MAC and the Big West announced they would continue with their tournaments but would not be welcoming spectators in an effort to prevent coronavirus transmissions.

Across the country, other conferences reacted similarly on Tuesday but with less force; the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC all announced their tournaments would continue with minor changes. As of now, spectators are being allowed into the events. The ACC began its tournament on Tuesday night.

The NCAA has not mandated any definitive changes in the wake of COVID-19, which the World Health Organization (WHO) classified Wednesday as a pandemic. On Tuesday evening, the NCAA issued the following statement:

“NCAA member schools and conferences make their own decisions regarding regular season and conference tournament play. As we have stated, we will make decisions on our events based on the best, most current public health guidance available. Neither the NCAA COVID-19 advisory panel, made up of leading public health and infectious disease experts in America, nor the CDC or local health officials have advised against holding sporting events. In the event circumstances change, we will make decisions accordingly.”

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