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March 12, 2020MARYVILLE, Mo.
Northwest Missouri State University is following the NCAA's protocol for postseason tournaments.
Due to the spread of the cornoavirus, this weekend's Central Region Tournament at Bearcat Arena will be played with only essential staff and immediate family members in attendance.
Bearcat Athletic Director Andy Peterson said each institution will be allotted 120 passes for games, and bands, cheerleaders and dance teams will not be allowed in the arena.
Elsewhere in college basketball, the Big Ten, Big 12, SEC and AAC have already canceled their conference tournaments.
If the NCAA plans to shut down the Division 2 national tournament, Peterson expects that decision will be handed down soon.
"We'll know in the next five hours if this is going to happen or not," Peterson said late Thursday morning. "If we get to the end of today and it hasn't been canceled, we're going to have a tournament. But I'm assuming the way these other major conferences, leagues, the NBA, MLS, all that stuff, the way that they're making decisions and canceling stuff, I would assume the NCAA is going to fall in line with that and we will know soon or they're going to stick with their plan and we're going to have games."
Peterson added the Northwest athletics staff has been monitioring the situation and the progression of the coronavirus around the country, but the rapid changes to the tournament all came at once.
"At this time yesterday, it was a full blown regional. At 3:22pm when I received Mark Emmert's e-mail I kind of thought 'this is strange, this is going to happen quick.' But I was in constant communication with our site rep, the chair of our central region basketball committee just about how to handle things and pass lists and definitions of essential personnel and immediate family and close family and what that means. So it's been a quick change."
The university will refund all tickets that have already been purchased to the tournament. All Northwest Missouri State University games will be broadcast on KXCV 90.5 and KRNW 88.9, or online here.