NCAA tried to save March Madness with 16-team tournaments

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The seating area at Bankers Life Fieldhouse is empty as media and staff mill about, Thursday, March 12, 2020, in Indianapolis, after the Big Ten Conference announced that remainder of the men's NCAA college basketball games tournament was cancelled. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

By RALPH D. RUSSO, Associated Press

As it became apparent the NCAA basketball tournaments could not be held over three weeks because of concerns about the coronavirus, college sports officials toyed with a plan to hold a 16-team event to crown a champion in one long weekend. NCAA vice president of men’s basketball Dan Gavitt tells AP he started to consider ways of condensing the tournament Wednesday night after the NBA announced one of its players tested positive for the virus and the league suspended its season. He hoped the men’s games could be played in Atlanta, with the committee choosing the top 16 teams in the country to participate.