Kevin Love has donated $100,000 to Cleveland Cavaliers arena and support staff after the NBA suspended the season in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The league was put on hiatus on Wednesday after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert returned a positive test for COVID-19 ahead of their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Gobert's team-mate Donovan Mitchell has since confirmed he has contracted the virus, while the NCAA has cancelled March Madness in response to the pandemic.

When reacting to news of the suspension, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said a programme would be put in place to assist staff paid by the hour in the intervening period.

And five-time All-Star Love has done his bit to help people employed by the Cavs that could be hurt financially and emotionally.

"Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. And the fear and anxiety resulting from the recent outbreak of COVID-19 can be extremely overwhelming," Love wrote on Instagram.

"Through the game of basketball, we've been able to address major issues and stand together as a progressive league that cares about the players, the fans, and the communities where we work.

"I'm concerned about the level of anxiety that everyone is feeling and that is why I'm committing $100,000 through the @KevinLoveFund in support of the @Cavs arena and support staff that had a sudden life shift due to the suspension of the NBA season.

"I hope that during this time of crisis, others will join me in supporting our communities."

The United States has seen 1,669 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 40 deaths, with president Donald Trump placing a ban on travel from 26 European countries for 30 days.

Love continued: "Pandemics are not just a medical phenomenon. They affect individuals and society on so many levels, with stigma and xenophobia being just two aspects of the impact of a pandemic outbreak.

"It's important to know that those with a mental illness may be vulnerable to the effects of widespread panic and threat. Be kind to one another. Be understanding of their fears, regardless if you don't feel the same. Be safe and make informed decisions during this time.

"And I encourage everyone to take care of themselves and to reach out to others in need – whether that means supporting your local charities that are cancelling events, or checking in on your colleagues and family."

March Madness has been cancelled because of the coronavirus epidemic, the NCAA has confirmed.

It was announced on Wednesday the Division I men's and women's tournaments would be played behind closed doors due to the spread of COVID-19.

However, a host of conferences called off their end-of-season tournaments on Thursday and the NCAA followed suit.

A statement read: "Today, NCAA President Mark Emmert and the board of governors cancelled the Division I men's and women's 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships.

"This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities."

The NBA has been suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak, with Utah Jazz duo Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell confirming they have contracted the illness.

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has issued an apology and admitted he is "embarrassed" for his "careless" part in NBA's current coronavirus disruption.

Gobert mocked the measures in place to prevent the virus from spreading by jokingly touching reporters' microphones when leaving a news conference earlier this week.

The 27-year-old has since tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the Jazz's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder to be postponed on Wednesday.

The NBA was subsequently suspended indefinitely, too, although Gobert was not initially named as the player with a positive test result despite widespread media reports.

Gobert, whose Utah teammate Donovan Mitchell has also tested positive for coronavirus, took to social media on Thursday to confirm the diagnosis.

"I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of concern and support over the last 24 hours," he wrote.

"I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis... mostly fear, anxiety, and embarrassment.

"The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologise to the people that I may have endangered. 

"At the time, I had no idea I was even infected. I was careless and make no excuse. I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously. 

"I will do whatever I can to support using my experience as way to educate others and prevent the spread of this virus.

"I am under great care and will fully recover. Thank you again for all your support. I encourage everyone to take all of the steps to stay safe and healthy. Love."

Gobert was named the Defensive Player of the Year in both the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and he was an All-Star for the first time this year.

Donovan Mitchell has called for people to "educate themselves" and "behave responsibly" after confirming his positive coronavirus test.

The NBA suspended the season on Wednesday after a Utah Jazz player was revealed to have the virus, named COVID-19, prior to their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, though the individual was not identified.

Utah then released a statement less than 24 hours later to announce an additional positive test but did not name the player, adding they would be working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oklahoma and Utah state officials and also the NBA to "determine the best path moving forward".

Mitchell revealed his own situation in an Instagram post, thanking those who had been in touch while pushing for caution amid the global pandemic.

"Thanks to everyone who has been reaching out since hearing the news about my positive test," Mitchell wrote in the post.

"We are all learning more about the seriousness of this situation and hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realise that they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and for the wellbeing of those around them.

"I appreciate the authorities in Oklahoma who were helpful with the testing process and everyone from the Utah Jazz who have been so supportive.

"I am going to keep following the advice of our medical staff and hope that we can all come together and be there for each other and our neighbours who need our help."

 

        View this post on Instagram                  

Thanks to everyone who has been reaching out since hearing the news about my positive test. We are all learning more about the seriousness of this situation and hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realize that they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and for the well being of those around them. I appreciate the authorities in Oklahoma who were helpful with the testing process and everyone from the @utahjazz who have been so supportive. I am going to keep following the advice of our medical staff and hope that we can all come together and be there for each other and our neighbors who need our help

A post shared by Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) on Mar 12, 2020 at 10:20am PDT

Selected with the 13th pick in the 2017 draft, shooting guard Mitchell is in his third season with the Jazz and was named as an NBA All-Star earlier this year.

The Boston Celtics, who played against the Jazz on Friday, have said they will take precautionary steps to protect their players and staff.

"Specific to the news about the Utah players, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has advised us that based on those players' health statuses during this period, it is unlikely that anyone from the team came into contact with them while they were contagious," a statement from the Celtics read.

"However, notwithstanding this information, we are exercising an abundance of caution in taking every measure to be vigilant and safe. 

"These steps will include having players and staff who were in close contact with the Utah players or who travelled to Milwaukee to self-quarantine through the weekend, during which time all players will be tested, as will staff who came into close contact with the Utah players or who exhibit symptoms."

There have been over 1,500 cases of the virus in the United States and 40 deaths.

The coronavirus pandemic continued to lead to widescale disruption in the world of sport on Thursday.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in the ATP Tour being suspended for six weeks, while the PGA Tour will be played behind closed doors until April 5.

Football in Spain, the Netherlands, the United States and Portugal has been put on hiatus, while Champions League games between Manchester City and Real Madrid, and Juventus and Lyon have been postponed.

A second Serie A player has been confirmed to have contracted coronavirus, while the Utah Jazz announced a second positive test for COVID-19. Donovan Mitchell confirmed he was the latest individual with the infection, while Rudy Gobert is reported to be the other.

We look at the biggest events to have been impacted by the proliferation of the virus.

 

A six-week suspension was implemented by the ATP Tour, which it said came in the wake of the World Health Organization declaring the spread of COVID-19 constituted a pandemic and 30-day travel restrictions imposed by the United States.

ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said: "This is not a decision that was taken lightly and it represents a great loss for our tournaments, players, and fans worldwide. However, we believe this is the responsible action needed at this time in order to protect the health and safety of our players, staff, the wider tennis community and general public health in the face of this global pandemic."

The WTA Tour was yet to follow suit, but the Miami Open has been scratched from its schedule after a state of emergency was declared in Miami-Dade County.

Following the news that LaLiga had suspended its next two matchdays and Real Madrid had established a self-imposed quarantine in the wake of one of their basketball players testing positive for COVID-19, Los Blancos' Champions League last-16 second leg against Manchester City on Tuesday was postponed.

The meeting between Juventus and Lyon has also been pushed back after Daniele Rugani was confirmed to have contracted coronavirus and the Serie A champions implemented isolation procedures.

UEFA will hold a videoconference with European football stakeholders on Tuesday to discuss the response to the outbreak. The talks will include all domestic and European competitions, including Euro 2020.

Bosnia-Herzegovina has requested its Euro 2020 play-off against Northern Ireland on March 26 be postponed, while Denmark expects its friendly against England five days later to be cancelled.

One game that has been cancelled is Wales' friendly against the United States on March 30.

Sampdoria announced Manolo Gabbiadini was the second professional Serie A player to test positive. The club said he had "a slight fever, but is otherwise fine". On Sunday Gabbiadini played 61 minutes against Hellas Verona, who also activated isolation procedures as a result.

Hannover confirmed a second case of coronavirus in their squad, with Jannes Horn following Timo Hubers in testing positive. All players from the German team will be under home quarantine for the next 14 days, with the club asking for their upcoming 2.Bundesliga games against Dynamo Dresden and Osnabruck to be called off.

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers revealed three of his players have shown symptoms of coronavirus and have been isolated from their team-mates. Stats Perform understands all players put into isolation have only displayed mild symptoms, meaning they have not met the threshold to be tested for the virus.

In the Netherlands, all football has been cancelled until March 31. This includes amateur and professional games, as well as the national team's fixtures against the USA and Spain.

Portugal's Primeira Liga and the CONCACAF Champions League have been postponed for an indefinite period, while MLS has been suspended for the next 30 days.

Elsewhere in the USA, the NHL season has been paused. Comissioner Gary Bettman said: "Following last night's news that an NBA player has tested positive for coronavirus - and given that our leagues share so many facilities and locker rooms and it now seems likely that some member of the NHL community would test positive at some point - it is no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this time."

The PGA Tour will continue as scheduled, though fans will be barred from attending events starting from Friday at the Players Championship until the Texas Open, which finishes on April 5.

However, the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship has been cancelled due to potential logistical issues associated with players and staff travelling internationally.

The Washington Wizards have imposed self-isolation on players, coaches and basketball operations personnel for three to four days. The Wizards played the Jazz – who have confirmed two cases of coronavirus among their roster – on February 29 and the New York Knicks on March 10. The Knicks had a game with Utah six days before the Wizards did.

The Jazz's second positive test came after their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday was called off. Mitchell said on Instagram: "Thanks to everyone who has been reaching out since hearing the news about my positive test. We are all learning more about the seriousness of this situation and hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realise that they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and for the well being of those around them."

After the NCAA announced no fans would be permitted at March Madness, the American, Atlantic 10, C-USA, MAC, America East, Big East, Big Sky and WAC announced their conference tournaments had been cancelled.

The Washington Redskins became the first NFL team to announce a change in protocol in relation to the coronavirus. Redskins owner Dan Snyder said: "Due to health and travel concerns surrounding COVID-19, Redskins have informed all coaches and scouts to suspend all travel until further notice."

Promoters Top Rank have confirmed their upcoming boxing shows at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden will go ahead behind closed doors.

Shakur Stevenson is scheduled to defend his WBO featherweight world title against Miguel Marriaga in the main event on Friday's card in New York, while Michael Conlan headlines next Tuesday when he takes on Belmar Preciado in a 10-round contest.

The remaining two ODIs between India and South Africa will also be played behind closed doors, the International Cricket Council announced. There will also be no fans at Pakistan Super League games in Karachi.

In rugby union, the Pro14 has been indefinitely suspended. A statement said: "Resumption of the 2019-20 season will now become a matter of constant review. To this point Pro14 Rugby has ensured that it has the latest information and guidance made available by the local and national authorities via our participating unions in the UK, Ireland, Italy and South Africa."

However, the quarter-finals in the European Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup remain set to go ahead as planned.

The next two NASCAR events at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway over the next two weekends will be undertaken behind closed doors.

Vince Carter had accepted this would be his final NBA season - and now he has resigned himself to the fact it might already be over.

The 43-year-old eight-time All-Star became the first player in league history to play in 22 NBA seasons when he began his second campaign with the Atlanta Hawks.

Carter, who was the fifth overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft, has also played with the Toronto Raptors, New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings.

He nailed a three-pointer with 13 seconds remaining in the Hawks' 136-131 defeat to the New York Knicks on Wednesday evening.

And that might be his last act as a player in the NBA, with the coronavirus threat leading the league to suspend all matches indefinitely.

It remains to be seen whether the season is formally called to an early end, but as the pandemic causes life to come to a standstill in many parts of the world, Carter is comfortable with the notion his playing career might be done.

Carter said: "If it ended today and you know this day, this end of the season, these last 16 games, will be talked about for a very long time. And that's something I'll always remember, at least I scored my last basket and there'll be a weird but cool memory.

"It's a weird way to say I'm calling a career - you don't have any more games left. I still technically have eligibility. I have 15 games left - but if not, I'm [at] one with it."

Speaking in a news conference, Carter recalled a chat with the late Kobe Bryant that allowed him to come to terms with the idea this would be his final year playing, saying it gave him "the confidence and comfort" to speak openly about walking away.

"It's cool, though. Basketball has been good to me and I've enjoyed every moment, good and bad," Carter said.

The World Health Organization said there have been 129,822 coronavirus cases globally, and 4,751 deaths.

"When you throw the word 'death' around, I think that kind of shocks everybody and puts us in a frenzy and puts everyone on guard. You can't get away from that," Carter said.

"You feel for everyone who has a lot more to worry about than us as young athletes. We're just doing the right thing.

"Yes it feels weird, but I'm okay with it because I understand what is the bigger picture."

LeBron James reacted to the NBA's move to suspend its season by saying he wished the whole year could be cancelled.

The Los Angeles Lakers superstar had his say after the league was put on hold for an indefinite period, in response to a Utah Jazz player testing positive for coronavirus.

Basketball suffered the tragic loss of Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash in January, with James left "heartbroken" by the death of his fellow Lakers great.

Now the season is on hold and may not resume, leading James to post on Twitter: "Man we cancelling sporting events, school, office work, etc etc. What we really need to cancel is 2020! Damn it's been a rough 3 months. God bless and stay safe."

Rudy Gobert, the Jazz's French centre, reportedly contracted COVID-19, spurring the NBA to make its decision to call off all games.

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry backed the decision to put basketball on hold as he called for a sense of perspective.

He tweeted: "2020 ain't [sic] it. Don't know what to compare this situation to…just gotta buckle up and take care of yourself and those around you. Basketball will be back at some point but right now, protect yourself and stay safe out there!"

The Orlando Magic's Evan Fournier, a France team-mate of Gobert's, said his international colleague was bearing up well.

Fournier wrote: "Was just on the phone with Rudy. He is doing good man. Let's not panic everyone. Love you all."

Speaking in a news conference after a 136-131 loss to the New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young spoke about the post-match discussions in the team's camp.

He said: "We didn't really talk anything about the game or how it ended. It was more about the next steps for us, about moving forward and what we need to do to stay safe and try to stay [as far] away from getting this as possible. It was about how we can be more cautious about it."

Young said the players had an inkling the NBA would call a halt to the season.

"We kind of knew it - we didn't know about all the details until 30 minutes before the game. Maybe tonight was about thinking what the next steps are for us," Young said.

He bowed out with 42 points, albeit in a losing cause.

"Someone told me it was our last game for right now," Young said. "We weren't going to have fans probably for the rest of the season anyway. I wanted to go out and put on a show for the fans. I was going to go out fighting and playing hard and putting on a show."

Mike Malone, coach of the Denver Nuggets, spoke after his team's 113-97 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

Malone said: "I don't know what this means. I know instead of flying to San Antonio we're going to fly home tonight.

"We support the league's decision, obviously being putting the players', the fans', the officials', the coaches', the staffs' best interests at heart, and we have to get our minds wrapped around what this coronavirus is doing.

"We support their decision and we wait to hear from them as to what this means moving forward, because honest to God I have no idea. And I just hope we can figure this out and get back to playing basketball in a timely manner when it's deemed safe."

Joel Embiid starred on his return from injury for the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA on Wednesday in the final games before the season was suspended due to coronavirus fears.

Back from a shoulder injury suffered last month, Embiid lifted the 76ers past the Detroit Pistons 124-106.

Embiid finished with a double-double of 30 points and 14 rebounds, while Al Horford had 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Christian Wood poured in a career-high 32 points for the Pistons.

The Charlotte Hornets produced an upset by beating the Miami Heat 109-98.

Devonte' Graham starred with 30 points for the Hornets, who had five players manage double-digits in points.

 

Randle shines, Marjanovic marvellous

Julius Randle's 33 points and 11 rebounds helped the New York Knicks edge the Atlanta Hawks 136-131 after overtime.

Trae Young contributed 42 points and 11 assists for the Hawks.

Boban Marjanovic starred for the Dallas Mavericks, posting 31 points and 17 rebounds in a 113-97 win over the Denver Nuggets.

 

Season suspended

The Utah Jazz's clash with the Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed just before tip-off.

It was later revealed a Jazz player tested positive to coronavirus, leading to the NBA deciding to suspend its season.

The New Orleans Pelicans-Sacramento Kings clash also did not go ahead.

 

Scott soars

Mike Scott delivered a huge dunk during the 76ers' win.

Wednesday's results

Philadelphia 76ers 124-106 Detroit Pistons
New York Knicks 136-131 Atlanta Hawks
Charlotte Hornets 109-98 Miami Heat
Dallas Mavericks 113-97 Denver Nuggets
Utah Jazz v Oklahoma City Thunder postponed
New Orleans Pelicans v Sacramento Kings postponed

The New Orleans Pelicans' visit to the Sacramento Kings has been postponed after the NBA suspended the season amid coronavirus fears.

The league will go into a hiatus until further notice after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.

That prompted the sudden postponement of the Jazz's clash at the Oklahoma City Thunder, just moments prior to tip-off midweek.

The matchup between the Kings and Pelicans at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento was the last game scheduled for Wednesday.

However, the NBA said: "The game was canceled out of an abundance of caution because one of the referees assigned to work in the game also worked a Utah Jazz game earlier this week".

As of Wednesday, there have been more than 1,300 cases of coronavirus and 38 deaths in the United States.

Globally, more than 126,000 people have contracted COVID-19 and 4,633 have died.

The NBA will suspend the season at the conclusion of Wednesday's games until further notice after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for coronavirus.

The decision came after the Oklahoma City Thunder's clash with the Utah Jazz was postponed, just moments before tip-off at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Rudy Gobert reportedly contracted COVID-19, having been ruled out of the game due to illness along with Jazz team-mate Emmanuel Mudiay.

In a statement, the NBA said: "A player on the Utah Jazz has preliminary tested positive for COVID-19. The test result was reported shortly prior to the tip-off of tonight's game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. At that time, tonight's game was cancelled. The affected player was not in the arena.

"The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight's schedule of games until further notice. The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forwards in regard to the coronavirus pandemic."

There was chaos in Oklahoma City, where starting line-ups were announced and players braced for tip-off in front of fans before the matchup was suddenly called off midweek.

"Unforeseen circumstances" were cited following a public address inside the arena after officials were seen in conversation before players left the floor.

A Thunder medic reportedly ran onto the court, sparking a discussion with officials.

It comes after the Golden State Warriors announced their game against the Brooklyn Nets would be played behind closed doors on Thursday.

The Warriors' decision followed on from the City and County of San Francisco announcing on Wednesday that any gatherings of 1,000 people or more would be prohibited for two weeks in an attempt to combat the spread of the virus.

As of Wednesday, there have been more than 1,300 cases of coronavirus and 38 deaths in the United States.

Globally, more than 126,000 people have contracted COVID-19 and 4,633 have died.

Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Joel Embiid made his injury comeback against the Detroit Pistons, the NBA franchise announced.

Embiid had been sidelined with a shoulder problem since February 26, however, the 76ers center returned to the court for Wednesday's clash.

The three-time All-Star avoided structural damage after colliding with Ante Zizic in Philadelphia's 108-94 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers last month.

Embiid is averaging 23.3 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game for the 76ers this season.

The 76ers (38-26) are sixth in the Eastern Conference as they continue to struggle on the road, with a 10-24 record.

Coronavirus continued to make its presence felt across worldwide elite sport on Wednesday.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) officially declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic and major American sports franchises were taking appropriate measures as European football was forced to react once more.

Sports governing bodies have also had their say, with events calendars becoming increasingly fluid.

Here are some of the latest events to be impacted.

In the United States the Golden State Warriors have confirmed their game against Brooklyn Nets on Thursday will be played behind closed doors, making them the first NBA team to make such a move following consultation with the City and County of San Francisco.

This directive also means the San Francisco Giants is working with Major League Baseball to make alternative arrangements after the planned March 24 exhibition game against the Oakland Athletics at Oracle Park was cancelled.

Seattle Mariners are hoping to relocate their opening games of the MLB regular season after Washington governor Jay Inslee announced large group events in the state would be banned throughout March.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) will stage its flagship March Madness basketball tournament "with only essential staff and limited family attendance".

Coronavirus cases in Spain have spiked, and the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has postponed the Copa del Rey final between Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao.

The showpiece fixture was due to take place in Seville on April, with reports suggesting May 30 has been pencilled as a new date.

Barcelona have cancelled training sessions at their La Masia headquarters for the next 15 days, while RFEF has recommended football at all levels beneath the top two professional leagues is called off for two weeks.

In Germany, Eintracht Frankfurt announced Thursday's Europa League game against Basel will take place behind closed doors, while this weekend's derby between Hertha Berlin and Union Berlin will also take place without supporters.

Mainz's clash with Cologne is another of the forthcoming Bundesliga games where fans have been told to stay away.

The Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal became the first football match in England to be postponed as a coronavirus precaution and City are offering refunds on tickets to future fixtures up to and including the day of the game, acknowledging unease among supporters over taking part in large gatherings at this time.

Pep Guardiola's side have matches at home to Burnley and Real Madrid over the coming week.

CONMEBOL, the governing body for football in South America announced Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana matches held in Paraguay will take place behind closed doors, in line with local government advice.

Qatar, which will host the 2022 World Cup, will stage all remaining matches in its domestic football season without supporters, although CAF has decided to maintain its competition schedule unless the WHO declares a country in Africa to be high risk.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has postponed the Fed Cup Finals in Budapest after Hungary's government prohibited public indoor gatherings of more than 100 people.

On their tour of Sri Lanka, the England cricket team have been told to avoid casual interaction with fans, such as selfies and autographs.

March Madness will be played without any fans in attendance due to the coronavirus outbreak, NCAA president Mark Emmert has confirmed.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) officially classed the proliferation of COVID-19 as a pandemic on Wednesday, with the spread of the virus leading to sport across the globe being suspended or played behind closed doors.

The NBA, NHL, MLS and MLB have withdrawn locker-room access to the media, while the Golden State Warriors will play the Brooklyn Nets in an empty Chase Center on Thursday after gatherings of over 1,000 people were banned by San Francisco's mayor London Breed.

Emmert confirmed attendance at the upcoming Division I men's and women's basketball tournaments would be heavily restricted following advice from an advisory panel.

"The NCAA continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel," Emmert said in a statement.

"Based on their advice and my discussions with the NCAA board of governors, 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.

"While I understand how disappointing this is for all fans of our sports, my decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-10 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.

"We recognise the opportunity to compete in an NCAA national championship is an experience of a lifetime for the students and their families.

"Today, we will move forward and conduct championships consistent with the current information and will continue to monitor and make adjustments as needed."

According to the WHO, the United States has seen 696 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 25 deaths.

The Golden State Warriors have confirmed their NBA game against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday shall be played behind closed doors.

Amid fears over the spread of coronavirus, a plethora of sporting events across the globe have been either postponed or cancelled, while matches are also being played without fans present.

That will be the case for the clash between the Warriors and the Nets at Chase Center, with the team confirming there will be no fans in attendance.

The Warriors' decision follows on from the City and County of San Francisco announcing on Wednesday that any gatherings of 1,000 people or more would be prohibited for two weeks in an attempt to combat the spread of the virus.

"Due to escalating concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, and in consultation with the City and County of San Francisco, tomorrow night's game vs. the Nets at Chase Center will be played without fans," a statement from the Warriors read. 

Earlier this week, the Indian Wells tennis tournament – one of the most prestigious events on the ATP and WTA tours – due to be held this week in California, was postponed due to coronavirus.

Ben Simmons will spend at least another three weeks on the sidelines with a back injury.

All-Star point guard Simmons was forced off in the first quarter of the Philadelphia 76ers' defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks on February 22.

He has missed Philadelphia's past seven games and is set to sit out the next 11, with his next assessment to take place two weeks before the end of the regular season, the team have confirmed.

A 76ers statement read: "Ben Simmons (nerve impingement, lower back) continues to progress in his rehabilitation.

"He is receiving daily treatment and is gradually increasing the activities in his strength and conditioning programme. He will be re-evaluated in three weeks."

Simmons' injury has combined with a shoulder problem for Joel Embiid, leaving Philadelphia without their two leading players for their past five games. The Sixers went 2-3 in that stretch.

Starting shooting guard Josh Richardson also missed their past three outings while he progressed through the NBA's concussion protocols.

However, Embiid was questionable to return against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, while Richardson was cleared to play.

Brett Brown's team went into the game with the Pistons sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 38-26 record.

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