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Big 12 tournament canceled amid coronavirus concerns

UT and Texas Tech were removed from the court before their game began at 11:30 a.m.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Big 12 Conference men's and women's basketball tournaments have been canceled amid coronavirus concerns.

The University of Texas men's basketball team was scheduled to play Thursday at 11:30 a.m. against Texas Tech, but was taken off the court minutes before due to the cancellation.

"We've obviously canceled the tournament. We did so for a variety of reasons," Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a press conference Thursday.

"It's hard to tell at this point if there will be an NCAA Tournament to play in or if it'll look different than the March Madness we've come to enjoy," Bowlsby said. 

The announcement comes after the conference announced on Wednesday that the tournaments would be played with "limited access."

RELATED: Big 12 conference men's, women's basketball tournaments to be 'limited access'

The first round of the women's tournament was scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 12 – with Oklahoma State to tip off against Oklahoma – at the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City.

“We didn’t have anybody say, ‘I don’t want to play. I don’t want to go out there. I don’t think this is worth it,’" Bowlsby added. "I feel terrible for the seniors that are involved in this tournament."

When asked about the potential effects on spring football and other spring sports, Bowlsby said he'd continued to leave those decisions up to the athletic directors of the individual schools.

"There's a fair amount of institutional prerogative that's in play here," he said.

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