A men’s NCAA March Madness game on Saturday between the University of Oregon and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) was declared a no-contest over COVID-19 concerns.
The Virginia team had received multiple positive COVID-19 tests in the last several days, according to VCU head coach Mike Rhoades, ESPN reported.
The NCAA and the committee regret that VCU’s student-athletes and coaching staff will not be able to play in a tournament in which they earned the right to participate. Because of privacy issues we cannot provide further details, the NCAA said in a statement on Twitter Saturday.
The NCAA MBB Committee has declared the VCU-Oregon game a no-contest because of COVID-19 protocols.
As a result, Oregon will advance. pic.twitter.com/75PFpk8TbC
NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 20, 2021
Oregons basketball team will automatically advance to the next round of the NCAA’s basketball championships due to the decision.
It marks the first game of March Madness that was canceled or declared a no-contest due to COVID-19 concerns.
Rhodes said in a statement that the team is devastated for our players and coaches.
It has been a dream for all of us to play in the NCAA Tournament. We appreciate the care of our doctors and administration this year, and all our efforts and attention will be put into our players at this time, Rhodes said, ESPN reported.
Dana Altman, the head coach of the University of Oregons mens basketball team, said in a statement on Twitter that the team would like to wish the VCU student-athletes and staff all the best, and congratulate them on an outstanding season.
We hate to see a teams season end this way after all the hard work these student-athletes have put in. This isnt the way we wanted to advance, but we are excited to be moving on and we will start our preparation for Mondays game, Altman said.
Oregon Men’s Basketball (@OregonMBB) March 20, 2021
The NCAA earlier this month said basketball teams only need five healthy players to play during March Madness, which was canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.