NCAA tourneys locked, no replacement teams needed

Mar 11, 2021; Greensboro, North Carolina, USA; Virginia Cavaliers head coach Tony Bennett talks to his team during a timeout as his team plays the Syracuse Orange during the second half in the quarterfinal round of the 2021 ACC tournament at Greensboro Coliseum. The Virginia Cavaliers won 72-69. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

The withdrawal deadline passed for the NCAA basketball tournaments without any schools pulling out, meaning the brackets are locked.

Replacement teams had been on standby for both events as a COVID-19 precaution.

The 68-team men’s tourney begins Thursday in Indiana and the 64-team women’s competition starts Sunday in Texas.

If any team cannot meet the minimum standard of five eligible players available for a game, its opponent will automatically advance to the next round.

Addressing reporters Wednesday, NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said 67 of the men’s teams had arrived in Indiana.

The exception is defending champion Virginia, who won the tournament in 2019. The 2020 tourney was not played due to the pandemic.

The Cavaliers, seeded fourth in the West Region, pulled out of last week’s ACC tournament semifinals following a positive COVID-19 test. Most of the Virginia team remains in quarantine in Charlottesville, Va.

Gavitt said the Cavaliers will head to Indianapolis early Friday afternoon and will be tested immediately upon their arrival. Virginia will be tested three times before facing No. 13 seed Ohio on Saturday. Gavitt said the Cavs will get an opportunity to practice before the game.

Also Wednesday, the NCAA reported there have been seven confirmed positives among 6,900 COVID-19 tests taken so far this week.

“The one-tenth of 1 percent positivity rate is encouraging,” Gavitt said.

Louisville, Colorado State, St. Louis and Mississippi were the potential replacement schools in the men’s field.

–Field Level Media