Western Athletic Conference cancels basketball tournaments, suspends spring competition

LAS VEGAS – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Department of Intercollegiate Athletics learned on Thursday that, due to concerns about the safety of student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) has canceled the WAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments.

An hour after the announcement, the WAC also announced the suspension of all spring conference competitions until further notice.

Plans are currently being implemented to bring both basketball teams, the cheer and dance squads, the pep band and on-site administrators home early from Las Vegas, the site of the WAC tournaments, rather than on Sunday as originally scheduled. It is UTRGV’s goal to get everyone home on Thursday.

The tournament cancellation means that the UTRGV men’s basketball season is over following a 14-16 season that saw the Vaqueros go 9-7 in WAC play to earn the No. 2 seed in the tournament, the highest ranking in program history. UTRGV won eight of its final 10 games.

Due to the cancellation of the tournament, the automatic qualifiers into the NCAA Tournaments are given to the regular season champions – New Mexico State for men’s basketball and Kansas City for women’s basketball.

With the WAC suspending all spring competitions until further notice, the UTRGV baseball team and UTRGV track & field team have their seasons on pause. The UTRGV baseball team was set to host Texas Southern for a three-game series beginning Friday, but that series has been canceled. The Vaqueros were previously scheduled to open conference play next Friday against Seattle University.

The National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, United Soccer League, have all suspended their seasons.