Virginia's NCAA Tournament Status Uncertain After Positive COVID-19 Test

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2021

Georgia Tech head coach Josh Pastner talks with guard Jose Alvarado (10) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Miami in the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, March 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

Georgia Tech is heading to the ACC Tournament championship game after the conference announced Virginia couldn't play Friday's scheduled semifinal because of COVID-19 protocols following a positive test within the Cavaliers program.

The Yellow Jackets advance to face the winner of the other semifinal, Florida State vs. North Carolina, in Saturday's title game.

The ACC provided a statement from commissioner Jim Phillips:

The ACC @theACC

A statement from Commissioner Jim Phillips: https://t.co/GZrXAmy71v

Rivals' Brad Franklin provided statements from Virginia's athletic director Carla Williams and head coach Tony Bennett on their program's status ahead of the NCAA tournament:

Brad Franklin @Cavs_Corner

#UVa says its status for the NCAA Tournament remains TBD. https://t.co/xYqFMmtDRs

Virginia, the tournament's top seed, beat Syracuse on a Reece Beekman game-winning three at the buzzer in the quarterfinals Thursday.

The Hoos are a lock for the NCAA tournament, so getting pulled from the conference tourney isn't a season-ending result, but they were vying to improve their seeding for the Big Dance. They are currently projected as a No. 4 seed by Bracket Matrix.

Meanwhile, Georgia Tech should be safely in the 68-team field as well, but it's now one win away from removing all doubt by securing the ACC's automatic bid.

The Yellow Jackets overcame a four-point halftime deficit to post a 70-66 win over Miami in the quarterfinals. Jordan Usher (15 points), Michael Devoe (13) and Jose Alvarado (13) also scored in double figures for the No. 4 seed.

Josh Pastner's squad is getting hot at the right time with seven straight wins heading into the ACC final.

Their win over the Hurricanes, the No. 13 seed who posted a 4-15 mark in conference play, wasn't convincing, but Alvarado is confident they'll play better after returning from a six-day break.

"We were sitting down [idle] too long," he told reporters. "We're a team that needs to be in rhythm."

That said, a day off before a championship game where the opponent will be playing on shorter rest should be an advantage for Georgia Tech on Saturday.

The Seminoles and Tar Heels will tip off Friday night at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN for the right to face the Yellow Jackets.