The sports landscape was seemingly at the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic in the US, basketball in particular. Most major sporting events scheduled within the next 30 days were suspended indefinitely or canceled outright on Thursday, prompted in part by the suspension of Wednesday night's Jazz-Thunder game in Oklahoma City after Jazz players reported feeling sick before tip-off.
By Thursday afternoon two Utah players had tested positive, a reporter covering the team was quarantined, and most of the leagues had moved to call off their events. After the majority of college basketball leagues shut down their conference tournaments earlier in the day, the NCAA did the inevitable and followed suit.
Here are some of the responses from players, coaches, journalists and fans to the cancelation of March Madness.
The always outspoken Charles Barkley was among the earliest to call for the shutdown during a call-in to a morning talk show:
Some historical context, courtesy of the Associated Press:
Many, including Gonzaga men's head coach Mark Few, insisted the tournament should be postponed but not canceled:
At least one of Few's players didn't conceal his disappointment:
Others, like college hoops legend Dick Vitale, defended the decision:
Of course, there's always the bottom line of the casinos to consider:
A couple journalists offered ideas on how to fill the void:
Others were thinking of numbing their pain the old-fashioned way: