Cheney Free Press -

By John McCallum
Managing Editor 

Big Sky Conference calls basketball tournament


Last updated 3/12/2020 at 2pm

Update at 1:59 p.m. -- NCAA officials announced they have canceled both the men's and women's national basketball tournaments as well as other winter sports championships. This coming on the heels of conferences such as the Big Sky canceling their respective tournaments.

BOISE, IDAHO -- The Big Sky Conference is canceling the remainder of its 2020 basketball championships due to concerns over the spreading of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The announcement was released just before 10 a.m., March 12, prior to the tip-off of the men's quarterfinal match-up between Eastern Washington University and Sacramento State University at CenturyLink Arena in Boise.

The decision came after the Big Sky President's Council met early Thursday morning and voted to move forward with the cancellation. The move follows other NCAA conference's decisions to either cancel their respective tournaments or restrict fan participation to players, coaches and family, following the NCAA's decision to implement such measures with its national tournaments.

"This decision is not made lightly as we know how meaningful our basketball championships is to our student-athletes, coaches, alumni and fans," Big Sky Commissioner Tom Wistrcill said in a news release. "After consulting with medical experts, local authorities and the leadership of our institutions, we feel that this decision is prudent given the health and well-being of all involved.

The Big Sky and CenturyLink Arena will announced a refund policy soon and will contact fans who purchased tickets fr the games that have been cancelled.

This is developing story with more information to follow.

John McCallum can be reached at

Author Bio

John McCallum, Managing Editor

John McCallum is an award-winning journalist who has been with the Cheney Free Press for over 20 years. He has received 10 Washington Newspaper Publisher Association awards for journalism and photography, including first place awards for Best Investigative, Best News and back-to-back awards in Best Breaking News categories. He has been serving as editor of the Spokane Valley News Herald since March 2020.

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