Chicago State became the first college basketball team to cancel games due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
The Cougars informed the WAC on Tuesday night they will not be traveling to play road games at Seattle or at Utah Valley this week, a source confirmed to NBC Sports. Chicago State is still planning on traveling to Las Vegas for the WAC Conference Tournament when that begins March 11. The news was first reported from Stadium.
Chicago State was scheduled to visit Seattle on Thursday night and follow that up with a trip to UVU on Saturday. Due to the outbreak in Seattle, the program decided not to make the trip.
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The virus has sickened more than 92,000 people and killed 3,100 worldwide, the vast majority of them in China. Nine people have died in the U.S., all in Washington state. Most cases have been mild. Five of those nine deaths came at a nursing facility in the Seattle suburbs. At least 27 cases have been confirmed in the region, and on Tuesday, Amazon announced that an employee has tested positive for coronavirus.
Chicago State is 4-25 on the season. Three of their four wins came against non-Division I competition. They have not won a game since December 4th. Utah Valley is currently in eighth place in the nine-team WAC. Seattle is tied for fourth. New Mexico State clinched the conference regular season title a week ago.
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Also Tuesday, the NCAA announced it has established an advisory panel of medical, public health and epidemiology experts and NCAA schools to address the virus, also known as COVID-19. NCAA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Hainline will lead the group.
“The NCAA is committed to conducting its championships and events in a safe and responsible manner,” NCAA Chief Operating Officer Donald Remy said in a statement. “Today we are planning to conduct our championships as planned; however, we are evaluating the COVID-19 situation daily and will make decisions accordingly.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.