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Arts & Culture

Women’s Division I Basketball Championships Cancelled In Billings

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Logo
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (Public Domain)
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Logo

Montana is reporting no in-state cases of the novel coronavirus. But as concerns over COVID-19 have claimed a slew of college basketball tournaments Thursday, including one in Billings next week.

Thursday morning the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics announced it was cancelling all remaining winter championship events, including the Women’s Division I Basketball Championships scheduled for next week in Billings over concerns of the COVID 19 disease.

Alex Tyson, Executive Director with Visit Billings said the cancellation is a disappointment for all those involved with the tournament but the right decision for the wellness of the student athletes and the community.

"There’s an emotional piece to this. We have hosted this event for three years. We were really excited about this fourth and final year, and it wasn’t just the fourth and final year in Billings. This is the 40th anniversary, and it’s the end of the Division I, 32 team championship," Tyson says.

Also on Thursday, the Big Sky Conference, which includes Montana State University and the University of Montana, cancelled the remainder of its women’s and men’s tournaments in Boise, Idaho, just an hour before a men’s game was to tip off.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced it was cancelling the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, which were slated to begin next week, as well as other winter and all spring championships for this academic year.