Entering this year’s unprecedented COVID-19 NCAA Tournament, at least one virus cancelation seemed to inevitably loom over the field of 64. On Saturday evening, that feared first cancelation hit.
Tonight’s matchup between N0. 7 seed Oregon and No. 10 seed VCU has been ruled a no-contest due to COVID-19 protocols. With the virus issues occurring on the Rams’ side of things, the Ducks will move on to the round of 32.
In an official statement released by the NCAA on Twitter, the league explained that the decision was made in consultation with the Marion County Public Health Department. Details about the scale of the potential outbreak were not divulged due to “privacy issues.”
“The NCAA and the committee regret that VCU’s student-athletes and coaching staff will not be able to play in a tournament in which they earned the right to participate,” the league wrote.
The NCAA MBB Committee has declared the VCU-Oregon game a no-contest because of COVID-19 protocols.
As a result, Oregon will advance. pic.twitter.com/75PFpk8TbC
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 20, 2021
College basketball fans across the country took to Twitter to react to the decision.
Hopefully this is the last and only instance of this. pic.twitter.com/NzRAl6BL35
— Heather Jordan⁷ (Los Angeles) (@HeatherOnAir) March 20, 2021
— Robert Byrne (@Robertbyrne2001) March 20, 2021
If you beat me by 10 points in my bracket challenge and you had Oregon over VCU I’m keeping the money.
Just a public service announcement. I have zero conscious or moral compass. Just letting you know now.
— Vaccinated Keg (@GratefulKeg) March 20, 2021
Damn what a defensive battle in the Oregon/VCU game pic.twitter.com/jPJjKl4BV0
— 💛💜Nicholas💜💛 (@NicholasJLevi) March 20, 2021
When Oregon found out VCU forfeiting due to covid protocols pic.twitter.com/OFExFfAWs2
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) March 20, 2021
VCU Oregon cancelled , Oregon moved on and I picked VCU pic.twitter.com/yCQcEp8dGm
— Ike (@HooIsIke_) March 20, 2021
You have to feel for this VCU team that fought its way to a second place finish in the Atlantic 10 conference and earned its first NCAA Tournament bid since 2018-19 — just to be booted without getting a chance to even attempt an upset.
With the forfeited “win” over the Rams, Oregon now extends the PAC-12’s perfect round of 64 record to 5-0.