The ACC announced Friday morning that its scheduled semifinal between No. 4 seed Georgia Tech and No. 1 seed Virginia has been canceled due to a positive COVID-19 test within the Cavaliers program. Georgia Tech will advance to Saturday's title by default and face the winner of Friday's other semifinal between No. 2 seed Florida State and No. 6 seed North Carolina.
Sources told CBS Sports' Matt Norlander that the positive test came from a player who played in UVA's quarterfinal win over Syracuse on Thursday, and the issue calls Virginia's status for the NCAA Tournament into question. The Cavaliers are a projected No. 4 seed in Jerry Palm's Bracketology and would open play either Friday or Saturday of next week, if they can play. But a statement from the UVA athletic department said Virginia's status for the NCAA Tournament is "to be determined."
"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 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."
Tier 1 members of a program -- players, coaches and other members of the traveling party -- must have seven straight negative COVID-19 tests before arriving in Indianapolis for the NCAA Tournament.
"This is incredibly disappointing for our players," Virginia athletic director Carla Williams said. "They have done what has been asked of them in very challenging circumstances. It is unfortunate the ACC Tournament has concluded for us, but we have turned our attention to the NCAA Tournament. We are in communication with the appropriate officials regarding our participation."
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That now makes two days in a row that the ACC has dealt with a COVID-19 cancellation involving one of its marquee teams after Duke was forced to withdraw from the tournament and end its season following a positive test. Virginia's exit from the ACC Tournament also zaps some life from the event considering that the Cavaliers were the top seed and were coming off a buzzer-beater victory over Syracuse in Thursday's quarterfinals. Duke was also emerging as an intriguing story in the ACC Tournament, having won its first two games this week in a desperation attempt to revitalize its NCAA Tournament hopes.
But the ACC Tournament has served as a reminder that COVID-19 isn't done impacting sports and that even name brand programs like Duke and Virginia are not immune to its reach.