NCAA President Mark Emmert just announced fans WILL BE BANNED from both the men's and women's basketball tournaments this month ... and it's all 'cause of coronavirus.
"I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men's and women's basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance," Emmert said in a statement.
It's shocking news from the org. ... but Emmert said after his consultation with public health officials and the NCAA's COVID-19 advisory panel, it's necessary.
"While I understand how disappointing this is for all fans of our sports," Emmert said, "my decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States."
"This decision is in the best interest of public health, including that of coaches, administrators, fans and, most importantly, our student-athletes."
The announcement comes just a few hours after the Golden State Warriors said they will play with no fans in their home arena for at least the next two weeks.
The Seattle Mariners, meanwhile, said they will NOT play at home at all in the month of March over fears of the virus.
Emmert said the situation is still fluid ... adding, "Today, we will move forward and conduct championships consistent with the current information and will continue to monitor and make adjustments as needed."