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Sports >  WSU basketball

Pac-12 still moving forward with men’s basketball tournament in Las Vegas without restrictions

Washington State head coach Kyle Smith speaks during the Pac-12 NCAA college basketball media day, in San Francisco, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. (D. Ross Cameron / AP)
Washington State head coach Kyle Smith speaks during the Pac-12 NCAA college basketball media day, in San Francisco, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. (D. Ross Cameron / AP)

LAS VEGAS – A statement from the Pac-12 Conference on Tuesday has reaffirmed that in the wake of concerns surrounding coronavirus, the league will still hold its men’s basketball tournament without interruption this week at T-Mobile Arena.

Other conferences around the country have exercised caution, prohibiting specatators from attending altogether or restrciting the general public from watching men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in person, while permitting school officials, media members and family members of players.

The Ivy League announced Tuesday it would be cancelling its men’s basketball tournament due to coronavirus and awarded its automatic NCAA tournament bid to regular-season champion Yale.

The Mid-American Conference Tournament in Cleveland will have restricted attendance, banning the general public while still allowing credentialed institutional personnel, student-athlete family members, credentialed media, television and radio crews, and official team party members.

The Big West Tournament will still be held at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, but without spectators, the conference announced Tuesday.

While the Pac-12 is still holding its own tournament with spectators in attendance, the conference followed the direction of the Big 12, ACC, Big East and SEC and won’t allow credentialed media members into team locker rooms for postgame interviews.

“Media will not be permitted to enter team locker rooms, but will continue to have access to interview student-athletes and coaches at designated areas outside of the locker room,” the Pac-12 statement read. “This decision is made given the close quarters and personal nature of the locker room environment, and after consultation with our schools, and consideration of the current recommendations of health authorities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

Washington State plays Colorado at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the first round of the conference tournament at T-Mobile Arena. The Mountain West just completed men’s and women’s tournaments in Las Vegas, while the West Coast Conference is holding men’s and women’s championships games Tuesday at the Orleans Arena.

The Western Athletic Conference Tournament has not made any alterations to either of its basketball tournaments, which will also take place this week at the Orleans Arena in Vegas.

To ensure a safe environment, the Pac-12 will implement enhanced cleaning protocol, including “increased access to hand sanitizers throughout the arena, more frequent cleaning and disinfectant procedures throughout the venue, and heightened awareness of the protocols and procedures for addressing contagious diseases.”

The conference will also reschedule its Pac-12 Hall of Honor induction ceremonies, which were set to take place on Friday between 3-5 p.m.

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