Oregon vs. VCU Ruled No-Contest in NCAA Tournament Due to COVID; Ducks Advance

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 20, 2021

The March Madness logo is shown on the court during the first half of a men's college basketball game in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

The NCAA men's basketball tournament game between Oregon and VCU has been ruled a no-contest because of COVID-19 protocols. 

The NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee announced the decision Saturday, with the Ducks advancing to the round of 32:

Brendan Quinn @BFQuinn

VCU-Oregon declared a no-contest because of COVID-19 protocols. Oregon advances to the second round. Absolutely brutal. https://t.co/KXYV7zRXuL

VCU head coach Mike Rhoades told reporters his team has had "multiple positive COVID-19 tests in the past two days."

A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade issued a statement about the situation, calling it "tremendously disappointing and heartbreaking" for VCU's student-athletes:

Atlantic10Conference @atlantic10

Atlantic 10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade issued this statement following the NCAA / Marion County Public Health Department decision to prohibit VCU from competing in tonight’s game against Oregon due to COVID-19 issues. https://t.co/llB8qXGDRX

An Oregon spokesman told Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports the team will have a workout and light practice at the Indianapolis Convention Center on Saturday night. 

Per the rules established by the NCAA Division I men's and women's basketball committees, teams forced to withdraw from the tournament because of health and safety protocols would not be replaced once the event begins. 

The NCAA did set up a contingency plan in the immediate aftermath of the 68-team field being announced on March 14. 

NCAA senior vice president Dan Gavitt announced on Tuesday that no replacement teams were needed. 

Virginia was a question mark because of coronavirus concerns that forced it to withdraw from the ACC tournament, but the team was finally cleared to travel to Indianapolis on Friday. The Cavaliers are the No. 4 seed in the East Region and will play Ohio on Saturday. 

VCU received an at-large bid after losing to St. Bonaventure in the A-10 tournament final.

The Ducks and Rams were scheduled to tip off at 9:57 p.m. ET in the final game of the West Region. Oregon will play Iowa or Grand Canyon in the second round Monday.