NORFOLK (WAVY) – On what will go down as an unprecedented day in American sports history, ever major Division I conference cancelled its men’s and women’s basketball tournament, followed quickly by the NCAA announcing it had cancelled the NCAA Tournament amid growing concerns of the Coronavirus outbreak.
For seniors hoping this season would be a memorable end to their collegiate career, it simply and suddenly meant the end.
“A lot of tears from all of us, myself included,” said Norfolk state head men’s basketball coach Robert Jones. “It was a tough time.”
Jones’ team, a 2-seed in the MEAC Tournament, was maybe playing its best basketball of the season, and were set to face Coppin State on Thursday night before they received the news the MEAC had cancelled the tournament.
“It was like we lost at the Scope,” said Jones. “It was like the championship game we lost last year, but we actually got a chance to play. Losing by three points last y ear and the guys were hysterically crying, it was the same reaction, and we didn’t even play a game.”