Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN)- Belmont Men’s Basketball has already punched its ticket to the upcoming NCAA tournament, but this March Madness is going to be very different from those in the past, that’s because there will be no fans in attendance.
NCAA President Mark Emmert released a statement on Wednesday afternoon stating that only limited family attendance and essential staff will be allowed at men’s and women’s basketball tournaments due to the spread of COVID-19.
This is Casey Alexander’s first year as the head coach of the Bruins, but last season he took the Lipscomb Bisons to the tournament and says it will be different without fans in the stands.
“To be honest disappointment, but total understanding because who are we to say that us playing a basketball game is more important than the health and general welfare of the public, so we’ll make the most of it,” said Bruins head coach Casey Alexander.
Bruins forward Tyler Scanlon is playing in his first NCAA tournament and says while it will be a different environment, he’s just glad that it wasn’t cancelled.
“I was excited that we still get to play. I was just really nervous that there was going to be a cancellation of the tournament so just to have the opportunity to continue playing is really all that matters. We have our team and close family and that is all that matters,” said Scanlon.
Last year the Bruins received an At-Large big to the NCAA Tournament, winning the play-in game and losing to Maryland in the first round. Sophomore Center Nick Muszynski enjoyed his first experience playing on a big stage and knows this one will be different. What won’t change, is the way the team to prepares.
“At the end of the day it’s basketball and we’re going to play as hard as we can, follow the scouting report and trust our teammates. It will obviously be a little eerie and odd, but at the end of the day it’s just basketball,” added Muszynski.
The Bruins will now await to see who they play in the first round. The selection show takes place on Sunday at 5 p.m. (CT).