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MADISON, Ind. — On Thursday, the NCAA announced that this year’s men’s and women’s basketball tournaments were canceled, due to coronavirus concerns. In addition to that, all championship events for sports in the spring season were also canceled.

That meant thousands of student-athletes not getting an opportunity to compete for a national championship, including Olivia Crozier.

Crozier, from Madison, Indiana, is a fifth-year senior for the Samford University women’s basketball team in Homewood, Alabama. On March 8, the Bulldogs won the Southern Conference tournament championship.

“We had so many emotions,” Crozier told WIBC. “It was awesome, and being able to have my family there, and share it with my team, getting to cut down the nets, and it was just really surreal.”

Winning your conference championship means a trip to the NCAA tournament. For Samford, it marked just the third trip to the “big dance” in program history.

On Thursday, however, that opportunity was taken away, with the cancellation of the tournament.

“I was actually at home, on the couch with my parents, when I found out,” Crozier said. “Unfortunately, we found out first through Twitter. All of us were super, super upset. I mean, I instantly started crying.”

Crozier and the rest of her team just had their season abruptly end.

“We worked so hard, we’re still so proud of each other, but at the same time, it sucks,” she said. “Knowing that out of our eight seniors on our team, for seven of them, this was their only chance, their only time to step on that big stage like that.”

So where do they go from here? Well, home.

Like many other colleges and universities, Samford University is currently on spring break. And when classes resume, they’ll be online. Crozier says the university is allowing students to come back to campus this weekend to get their belongings, but must be out by Monday evening and go home. Crozier says because she starts her nursing job near campus on March 30, she’ll be living with a friend for the next few weeks.

Crozier says the athletic director told the women’s basketball team that once students are allowed back on campus, the school will do something special to recognize this special season.

“They said they just want to show how proud they are of us,” she said.

Crozier said this obviously isn’t how she wanted her career to end, but will look back at this season and her entire time with the Samford University women’s basketball team and cherish the memories.