March Madness officially begins in two weeks with a men's basketball First Four game in Dayton, Ohio.
In the event the coronavirus becomes an even more significant health threat in the United States, NCAA officials say they are readying for any scenario -- including games in arenas without fans.
"If you can think of it, it's something that we've gone through an analysis around," NCAA chief operating officer Donald Remy told Bloomberg in an interview published Monday night. "We've contingency planned for all circumstances."
The NCAA tournament will be the biggest sporting event in the U.S. since coronavirus was first declared a public health emergency in late January. In total, arenas in 14 cities will host games, concluding with the men's championship game April 6 in Atlanta.
The women's tournament, which begins March 20, will be held at campus sites for the opening two rounds, before four cities host regionals and New Orleans hosts the Final Four and women's final on April 3 and 5, respectively.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many of these student-athletes," Remy told Bloomberg. "As we're thinking about these circumstance, we're thinking about how to preserve that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and at the same time how to make sure that any decision we make is grounded in medical science."
According to Bloomberg, the NCAA has put together a medical advisory group in dealing with the threat of the virus, and also is speaking daily to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
NCAA chief medical officer Brian Hainline, who is part of the advisory group, told Bloomberg that they have not set a firm deadline on when a decision on what they potentially do must be made.