March Madness 2021: Oregon-VCU ruled no-contest because of COVID-19 protocols; Ducks advance

March Madness 2021: Oregon-VCU ruled no-contest because of COVID-19 protocols; Ducks advance

The NCAA declared Saturday’s men’s basketball tournament game between Oregon and VCU in Indianapolis a no-contest because of COVID-19 protocols. Oregon was declared the game’s winner and advanced to the Round of 32 on Monday.

VCU coach Mike Rhoades told reporters that the team returned multiple positive test results in the past 48 hours. Sources told that three players tested positive and that the test results came back Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and were the first positives for the team since last summer. The NCAA and local health officials in Indiana decided that allowing VCU to play would be too risky, reported.

The NCAA said in a statement the decision to declare a no-contest “was made in consultation with the Marion County Public Health Department.” It gave no other details, citing privacy issues.

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VCU is a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference. Its last game was the conference tournament final on March 14 vs. St. Bonaventure in Dayton, Ohio. The Bonnies won that game and automatically qualified for the NCAA Tournament. They lost to LSU in the Round of 64 Saturday afternoon. A source told they were “shocked” St. Bonaventure hadn’t returned any positive test results.

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“This is tremendously disappointing and heartbreaking for the student-athletes who’ve worked so hard for this opportunity,” A-10 commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade said in a statement. reported that VCU is wondering whether the team contracted COVID-19 inside the Dayton hotel the A-10 booked for the tournament final. A source told the website that a number of hotel visitors not connected with the tournament were maskless. Also, an official who worked the tournament, Roger Ayers, tested positive for COVID-19.

A-10 spokesman Drew Dickerson told all teams and officials were kept separate from the public and each other in the hotel.

VCU is now under quarantine and unable to leave Indiana at the moment, reported.  

Oregon will face Iowa on Monday.