Horizon League won't have fans at conference hoops tournaments

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

The Horizon League will play its men's and women's basketball tournaments without fans.

The league made the announcement Friday, after playing the entire regular season without fans amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The no-fans rule took priority over state and local laws.

Friday's announcement also prohibits team and complimentary pass lists.

Northern Kentucky players celebrate their 77-66 win against Wright State after an NCAA college basketball game for the Horizon League men's tournament championship in Detroit, Tuesday, March 12, 2019.

The Horizon League tournament starts Thursday, with the bottom 12 seeds playing six games, with matchups held at the highest seed's campus. The second round is March 2, also at campus sites. The semifinals are March 8 and championship games March 9, at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis.

The top four seeds receive byes. On the men's side, Oakland (9-9, 9-16) is in position for the third seed entering the final regular-season games Friday and Saturday at Milwaukee, while Detroit Mercy (8-6, 9-9) is the current projected the No. 6 seed entering its final series at home against Robert Morris. On the women's side, Oakland (11-10, 11-7) is at home against Northern Kentucky, trying to build on its No. 4 seed.

In other conference tournaments, the Mid-American Conference will allow limited fans for the weekend games at its tournament in Cleveland, while the Big Ten hasn't made an announcement about fans for its tournaments, to be held in Indianapolis. The NCAA, which will hold its men's tournament in the Indianapolis area and its women's tournament in the San Antonio area, announced Friday that will allow up to 25% capacity with social-distancing for its men's tournament.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tonypaul1984