The first team of this year’s NCAA Tournament has been knocked out due to COVID-19. VCU, the No. 10 seed in the West Region, has been knocked due to the NCAA’s protocols. That means No. 7 seed Oregon will advance without playing.
There was a 48-hour period at the start of the NCAA’s Indiana bubble in which teams could be replaced if they had an outbreak, by one of the team’s left out. That is long gone, with games underway as of Thursday.
“The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee has declared the VCU-Oregon game scheduled for Saturday night at Indiana Farmers Coliseum a no-contest because of COVID-19 protocols,” the NCAA said in a statement. “This decision was made in consultation with the Marion County Public Health Department. As a result, Oregon will advance to the next round of the tournament.
“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. Because of privacy issues we cannot provide further details.”
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
The Oregon-VCU game was scheduled to be played at 9:57 p.m. ET tonight. With the decision, the Ducks are set to face the winner of the ongoing game between No. 2 seed Iowa and No. 15 Grand Canyon. The Hawkeyes lead 15-10 early on in that game on TBS.
It is pretty nerve-wracking news that a team is potentially testing positive this late in the bubble process. Hopefully this is the extent of the issues, and most importantly, that everyone in the VCU basketball program is healthy and staying safe.
We’ll have more on the situation as it is revealed.
Update: VCU head coach Mike Rhodes has confirmed “multiple positive tests” within the program over the last 48 hours.
VCU coach Mike Rhoades: “We’ve been tested every day for the past three weeks, but within the past 48 hours we’ve received multiple positive tests.”
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) March 20, 2021
Fingers crossed that this was an isolated incident. So far, this is the first team to have issues from within the NCAA’s Indiana bubble.