Virginia’s Tony Bennett says Cavaliers will ‘exhaust all options’ to play in March Madness amid COVID-19 issues

Virginia was forced to cancel its ACC tournament semifinal game vs. Georgia Tech on Friday due to COVID-19 issues.

Friday’s ACC tournament semifinal game between Virginia and Georgia Tech was canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the Cavaliers program. The game was set to tip at 6:30 p.m. ET.

According to an official Virginia press release, the cancellation follows a positive test within the program and subsequent quarantining and contract tracing.

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Virginia’s status for the NCAA Tournament, which begins with First Four games on Thursday, March 18, is to be determined. The March Madness bracket will be unveiled during the selection show on Sunday, March 14 at 6 p.m. ET.

“We went from an exhilarating game-winning shot to beat Syracuse to a gut punch regarding the positive COVID-19 test within our program,” Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said. “I’m hurting for our players, especially our seniors. I told our young men they have every reason to be disappointed, but it is still very important how they choose to respond. We are exhausting all options to participate in the NCAA Tournament.”

Virginia entered Friday as a No. 4 seed in Lukas Harkins’ latest bracketology.

“All Tier 1 travel party participants will be required to undergo and document seven consecutive negative COVID-19 tests prior to arrival into Indianapolis,” the NCAA stated in its January release regarding health and safety protocols for March Madness.

The 2021 NCAA Tournament may include replacement teams if a team is unable to participate and notifies the NCAA before Saturday, March 13 at 11 p.m. local. Potential replacement teams will be ranked 1-4 and will fill any positions left by vacant bracket slots, regardless of seeding. The deadline for considering a replacement team to enter the field is Tuesday, March 16 at 6 p.m. ET.

Once the tournament begins on Thursday, March 18, there will be no replacements and teams will advance in the bracket if the other team is unable to participate.

Eli Boettger
Eli Boettger

Heat Check CBB founder, editor



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