MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — The Big Ten conference has announced it has canceled the remainder of their men’s basketball tournament, starting immediately.

The conference issued the following statement Thursday morning:

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The Big Ten Conference announced today that it will be canceling the remainder of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, effective immediately.

The Big Ten Conference will use this time to work with the appropriate medical experts and institutional leadership to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The main priority of the Big Ten Conference continues to be the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, fans and media as we continue to monitor all developing and relevant information on the COVID-19 virus.

Additionally, the Big 12 and the SEC tournaments announced they were off, and other conferences were expected to follow suit.

The men’s NCAA Tournament is one of the most popular events on the American sports calendar. March Madness draws hundreds of thousands of fans to arenas from coast to coast.

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(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)