Big Ten cancels men's basketball tournament, all other athletic competitions over COVID-19 concerns

Bankers Life Fieldhouse is decked out for the Big Ten Tournament, but fans won't be allowed inside starting Thursday. (WTHR photo/Rich Nye)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — The Big Ten Conference is canceling the remainder of the Men's Basketball Tournament.

In a statement, the conference said it will use the time to "work with the appropriate medical experts and institutional leadership to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic."

The conference also said the the focus will be on the health, safety and wellness of student-athletes, coaches, administrators and fans.

Later Thursday, the conference announced all athletic competitions through the end of the academic year would also be canceled.

The NCAA announced the cancellation of its men's and women's basketball tournaments shortly after every conference that was still playing a postseason tournament called it off.