SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Big West Conference announced Tuesday that this week's men's and women's basketball tournament will be played without spectators as a precaution for preventing the spread of COVID-19.
The tournament begins with women's early-round games Tuesday night and Wednesday at the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Long Beach State University in Long Beach.
The men's quarterfinal games will be played Thursday at Honda Center in Anaheim followed by the men's and women's semifinals on Friday.
Both championship games will be played at Honda Center on Saturday. Fans will not be allowed into either venue.
UC Santa Barbara is the third-seed in the men's tournament and is scheduled to face UC Riverside Thursday at 2:30 p.m.
In the women's tournament, Cal Poly is scheduled to play Tuesday at 6 p.m. against Long Beach State. UCSB's women's team is the 2 seed and will begin play on Friday.
"The Big West Board of Directors, comprised of the chief executive officers of the nine-member universities, strongly feel that this is a prudent way to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus while being sensitive to our student-athletes who have pointed towards playing in the tournament all season," said Big West Commissioner Dennis Farrell. "Many of our institutions are developing plans to minimize the interaction of individuals on their campuses that could include the downsizing of events.
"I'm sorry for the inconvenience this will cause our fans, but I do want to stress that all games will be televised on the ESPN family of networks," said Farrell.
Those who have purchased tickets for the event may receive a full refund from their respective points of purchase.
Members of the NCAA Division I Big West Conference are Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton, CSUN, Long Beach State, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, and Hawai'i.
Article courtesy of Big West Conference with contributions from KEYT