The ACC announced that Virginia, the reigning national champions, had to withdraw from the conference tournament due to a positive COVD-19 test among Tier 1 personnel. As a result, its ACC Tournament semifinal game with Georgia Tech is declared a no contest and the Yellow Jackets advance to the ACC Tournament Championship game on Saturday.
The bigger question is how this may impact the Cavaliers' ability to defend their title. The NCAA protocols for playing in the tournament require seven consecutive days of negative test results among all Tier 1 personnel before arriving in Indianapolis. That testing began last weekend in anticipation of many teams arriving on Monday.
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It is not clear whether Virginia can still meet those protocols, but if it cannot and the Cavaliers cannot participate in the NCAA Tournament, the selection committee would simply remove the team from their board and go on about completing its process. At this point in the process, the committee has already began to select the at-large teams and likely has started some preliminary seeding.
If Virginia can't play, we would know that the last at-large team in the bracket announced on Sunday would not be there if not for Virginia's situation.
Virginia is the eighth team to withdraw from its conference tournament this season. The Cavaliers are the third to do so after their tournament began, joining Duke and Northern Iowa. They are also the second top seed in two days to be forced to withdraw. North Carolina A&T, the top seed in the MEAC Tournament, announced the end of its season due to COVID issues on Thursday.
Bracketology top seeds
Check out Palm's latest bracket, full field of 68 and all the teams on the bubble on the Bracketology hub.
Changes on the bracket after busy Thursday
The busiest day of the remainder of the regular season caused some shifting of seeds up and down the bracket. Also, one team dropped out and another moved up. Two others saw their tournament hopes disappear due to COVID.
- Duke was scheduled to play Florida State in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals Thursday in a continuing effort to secure an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Unfortunately, that game was canceled due to a positive COVID-19 test in the Blue Devils' program. That put an end to Duke's season.
- We welcome Saint Louis back to the bracket after Boise State lost to Nevada in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Tournament. It is the Broncos third loss to the Wolf Pack and comes on the heels of Boise State's loss at home to Fresno State to end the regular season.
- Saint Louis only has a borderline case for inclusion as well and may not last in the bracket through the weekend. The Billikens had a lengthy COVID break and the games right after that did some significant damage to their tournament resume. They seemed to have righted the ship a little bit, but got blown out by St. Bonaventure in the A-10 tournament semifinals.
- At the top of the bracket, West Virginia dropped down to a No. 4 seed after a second consecutive loss to surging Oklahoma State. The Mountaineers have an odd quirk in their resume in that they have a better record away from home (10-4) than on their home court (8-5).
- In the Big East, Georgetown upset Villanova to set up a semifinal game with bubble team Seton Hall. The winner of that game will get a chance to steal a bid in the Big East final against either Creighton or UConn.
- The top seeds in the American Athletic Conference, the Big Ten and the SEC take the floor in their conference tournaments for the first time, with possible bracket implications, including on the top line, where Michigan and Illinois currently reside.