Southland Conference cancels the remainder of its championship basketball tournament

SFA men’s, women’s basketball teams had been scheduled to play in tournament

Southland Conference cancels the remainder of its championship basketball tournament
(Source: Southland Conference)

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Amid the growing concerns over the coronavirus, the leadership of the Southland Conference has decided to cancel the rest of its 2020 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments in Katy.

The Stephen F. Austin State University men’s and women’s basketball teams had been scheduled to play in the tournament.

The Southland Conference posted a tweet about canceling the rest of the tournament on its official Twitter page Thursday morning.

“The Southland Conference has been monitoring the situation with the coronavirus very closely,” the tweet stated. “The health and safety of the student-athletes, coaches, officials, fans, and other tournament personnel is of utmost importance. As a result, the Southland Conference has determined that the prudent course of action is to cancel the remainder of the tournament effective immediately.”

The tournament at the Merrell Center started on Wednesday. KTRE Sports Director Caleb Beames said shortly after the tournament resumed on Thursday morning, the two teams that were playing were pulled off the court.

The SFA Lumberjacks were scheduled to play their first game in the tournament on Friday, and the Lady Jacks were set to play on Saturday.

The SFA men’s basketball team has a record of 28-3 and 19-1 in conference play. Heading into the Southland Conference Tournament, the Lady Jacks had an overall record of 23-6, and they were 16-4 in conference play, according to the SFA Athletics website.

Later Thursday, the Southland Conference announced that it will be suspending all of its spring sports competitions effective immediately. The suspension will remain in effect until at least March 30. This will include baseball, softball, track, and spring football.

“This includes all conference and non-conference contests for the Southland’s spring sports,” a press release stated. “Practices are still up to each institution, including spring football. Conference and campus administrators will convene in the coming weeks to determine exact return-to competition arrangements and other issues.”

The Southland Conference’s decision to cancel the rest of its tournament is just the latest in the coronavirus-related events. Earlier this week, the organizers of the March Madness college basketball tournament made the decision to have the games played without any fans in attendance, and the NBA suspended the rest of its season until further notice.

In addition, the upcoming Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has been canceled.

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