A basketball sits on a rack at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C., ahead of the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

The Big 12 Conference announced it's both its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments just before noon Thursday.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby relayed the development amid concerns regarding Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to reporters during a press conference in Kansas City, Missouri.

Texas Tech and Texas, which were scheduled to tip off at 11:30 a.m. for the first of four men's games Thursday, were asked to remove its players from the court during pregame warm-ups. Bowlsby's news conference shortly followed.

The announcement follows two Big 12 men’s tournament games played Wednesday night with fans in attendance. The league initially planned to carry on with the tournament but without fans in attendance.

The Big 12 wasn’t alone in canceling its tournament. The SEC, ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12, among other conferences, called off their tournaments as well.

The NCAA announced Wednesday both its men's and women's tournaments would be played without fans but has not officially canceled the event as of Thursday.

Joe Buettner is a sports reporter for the Norman Transcript. You can contact him at (405) 366-3557 or

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