Virus bounces VCU from NCAA Event; Oregon advances

VCU has been pulled from the NCAA Event due to COVID-19 protocols

Final yr’s whole event was referred to as off due to the pandemic, and the NCAA moved this yr’s occasion to Indiana and put groups in what it referred to as a “managed atmosphere.” However these steps weren’t sufficient to make sure each recreation could be performed.

The Tenth-seeded Rams’ first-round recreation Saturday in opposition to Oregon was declared a no-contest, the NCAA stated, sending the seventh-seeded Geese into the second spherical with out enjoying.

“We’ve been examined each day for the previous three weeks, however inside the previous 48 hours we’ve acquired a number of optimistic checks,” VCU coach Mike Rhoades stated in an announcement. “We’re devastated for our gamers and coaches. It has been a dream for all of us to play within the NCAA Event.

“We admire the care of our docs and administration this yr, and all our efforts and a focus shall be put into our gamers at the moment.”

The announcement from the Division I Males’s Basketball Committee got here a bit greater than three hours earlier than the groups had been set to play within the West Area. It didn’t supply particular particulars, citing privateness issues, and stated that the choice got here after session with the Marion County Public Well being Division.

“The NCAA and the committee remorse that VCU’s student-athletes and training workers won’t be able to play in a event during which they earned the proper to take part,” the assertion learn.

VCU was within the area for the ninth time in 10 tournaments. The Rams made it to the Remaining 4 in 2011 as an 11 seed.

The Rams had been pressured to cease training or enjoying on Jan. 2 due to a optimistic COVID-19 take a look at inside their program, forcing a recreation in opposition to Davidson to be postponed. They resumed apply two days later and made it by means of the remainder of the season with out additional issues.

Led by Atlantic 10 participant of the yr Bones Hyland, VCU completed second within the convention within the common season and misplaced to St. Bonaventure within the A-10 title recreation. However its physique of labor, which included a season-opening win over Utah State, was sufficient to earn Rhoades’ group an at-large berth to the event.

“That is tremendously disappointing and heartbreaking for the student-athletes who’ve labored so onerous for this chance,” Atlantic 10 commissioner Bernadette McGlade stated in an announcement. “Throughout this pandemic, the medical advisory boards have the authority to make this determination for the protection and welfare (for) the entire student-athletes, workers and groups.

“VCU has had an excellent yr, and this setback doesn’t diminish any of their accomplishments.”

The Geese went by means of their very own COVID-19 points in the course of the season.

That they had a pair of lengthy pauses, at one level having simply 5 practices and a single recreation throughout a 26-day stretch. The one recreation they had been in a position to play in opposition to Oregon State was with out All-American guard Chris Duarte and fellow starter LJ Figueroa.

All informed, the Geese had two video games canceled and 5 that had been postponed, together with one in opposition to fellow NCAA Event group UCLA that was postponed three completely different occasions.

“I imply, it’s been excessive anxiousness for all the things,” stated Kansas coach Invoice Self, whose group superior with a win over Jap Washington earlier within the day.

“My coach and my workers, as quickly as we get our outcomes again from the take a look at, you understand — it doesn’t matter if it’s 2 o’clock within the morning, quickly as we get a textual content message from the corporate we’ll get group texts going. I’m getting messages from the coach at 2 o’clock and I’m awake on the brink of get the textual content.”


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