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Zane Douglas

Iowa State played in front of fans Wednesday in its first game of the Big 12 Tournament as the Big 12 allowed fans to attend the tournament games Wednesday, despite the emerging COVID-19 concerns around the country.

After Wednesday, fans will not be allowed to attend the tournament.

Iowa State played at 6 p.m. Wednesday against Oklahoma State in the first game of the tournament with both teams looking to advance to another day. The game was played in front of the usual number of fans.

Nationally, NCAA President Mark Emmert announced Wednesday afternoon in a press release that all NCAA postseason tournaments will be held without fans in attendance. 

Only “essential staff and limited family attendance” will be allowed attendance at the events outside of the competing teams. At the time of this report, there is no indication if media is considered a part of the “essential staff.”

The announcement comes as COVID-19 has spread to at least 1,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. and at least 118,000 cases worldwide according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The spread of COVID-19 forced multiple Division I conferences to shut down conference tournaments altogether or hold tournaments without fans in attendance. Some conferences announced that conference tournaments would be held and are still allowing fans in attendance for their conference tournaments. 

The announcement of banning all fans in attendance will impact the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament and the NCAA Wrestling Tournament, which was originally scheduled to take place in Minneapolis at U.S. Bank Stadium March 19-21.

More updates will be made as more information is given.