UC vs WSU 2-23-20 (18 of 21).jpg

UC guard Jarron Cumberland (34) drives the ball up court during the second half against Wichita State at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020.

The 2020 American Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Championship has been canceled due to the COVID-19, according to a news release from the conference Thursday morning. 

"The decision was made in consultation with the Conference’s leadership in light of recent developments regarding the spread of the COVID-19 virus," a league spokesperson said in the release. "This is a proactive decision to protect the safety, health and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and staff and all involved with the tournament."

The championship was scheduled to take place March 12-15 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.

"This was the correct decision," University of Cincinnati head coach John Brannen said in a news release Thursday. "The well-being and health of our student-athletes is our primary responsibility. We are in unchartered waters right now. I will continue to pray for all those affected by the virus as well as those responsible for the decisions that affect so many."

UC, the No. 1 seed, was slated to play Friday at 1 p.m. EST.

The threat of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, led the NCAA to cancel the Division I men's and women's 2020 basketball tournaments Thursday afternoon.

"This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities," NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement.

The AAC also announced Thursday that all spring sports competitions will be suspended until further notice.

"The Conference will continue to evaluate risks associated with intercollegiate athletics competition in conjunction with local and state health authorities," a news release said.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Managing Editor

Huffmon is a fourth-year communications student from Tiffin, Ohio. He often covers UC athletics. He interned at the Kentucky Speedway in the summer of 2019 and has written for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Cincinnati Enquirer.