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Oklahoma Sooners Basketball: Big 12 to limit fans at men’s, women’s basketball tournaments

Schools will have 125 tickets to distribute to staff and guests of student-athletes.

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Tournament-Iowa State vs Oklahoma State William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

According to Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, the conference will be implementing limited access to Big 12 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship games being played Thursday, Friday and Saturday. In reaction to the the COVID-19 outbreak, each Big 12 school will only be allowed 125 tickets for the remaining games of the conference basketball tournaments.

The Big 12 is following the lead of measures taken for the NCAA Tournament and other conference tournaments.

Bowlsby said, “We have done this on consultation with a number of different entities, among them our conference board of directors who voted unanimously to implement this process. We also have been advised by the KU Medical Center Emergency response team, the CDC and public health officials, the City of Kansas City and also the sports commission.”

This announcement comes after the NCAA’s panel on the coronavirus recommended all competitions be played without spectators due to concerns pertaining to COVID-19. This also comes after the World Health Organization’s announcement the the COVID-19 virus had reached global pandemic status.

The Oklahoma Sooners will open its postseason run Thursday at 8 p.m. against West Virginia, with the game being televised by ESPN2.

If we’re being real here, this is probably about as large as OU’s contingent would’ve been regardless. However, I would still expect large crowds of Kansas and potentially Iowa State fans (if the Cyclones win Wednesday evening) to congregate in the Power & Light District. Hell, if you were already planning on staying in Downtown KC, you might as well make the most of out the trip, right? When you also factor in the KU fans who already live in the area and were planning on a big weekend of fun, it might be quite a time. Few scenes in college basketball can rival the revelry of Kansas City Live! during the Big 12 Tournament, and I hope it still goes somewhat strong in 2020 (provided that everyone takes necessary precautions).