For just a brief moment, the sports world seemed pandemic-free – that is, until Saturday evening. VCU has been knocked out of the 2021 NCAA Tournament for COVID-related circumstances.
The Rams, the No. 10 seed in the West Region, were gearing up to take on the seven-seed Oregon Ducks Saturday night. Just hours before tip-off, VCU received nightmarish news. VCU has been knocked out of the tournament due to the NCAA’s health and safety protocols.
“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 announced on Saturday via a statement. “This decision was made in consultation with the Marion County Public Health Department.”
Details are starting to emerge as to the situation surrounding the Rams. VCU head coach Mike Rhoades informed reporters Saturday evening the team received “multiple positives tests” within the past 48 hours, via college basketball insider Jeff Borzello.
The positive tests obviously couldn’t have come at a worse time. VCU’s season has come to a close.
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
College hoops insider Matt Norlander has further detail as to what VCU is experiencing. The Rams’ first positive COVID test reportedly surfaced on Wednesday. Two more positives came to light on Friday.
Source to @CBSSports: VCU had its first positive surface on Wednesday, then two more positives surfaced Friday night, which prompted Marion County health officials and the NCAA to decide allowing VCU to move forward and play its game vs. Oregon was too risky.
— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) March 20, 2021
It’s absolutely heartbreaking VCU won’t have its earned opportunity to compete in this year’s Big Dance. The Rams were just hours away from taking on the Ducks in the first round.
No. 7 seed Oregon, meanwhile, now automatically moves on to the second round. The seven-seed Ducks will take on the winner of Iowa-Grand Canyon.
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