The Virginia Cavaliers The Virginia Cavaliers
The Virginia Cavaliers' ACC Tournament journey is over as they become the second team to exit following a positive COVID-19 test.
On Friday, the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) announced that Virginia's upcoming game against Georgia Tech, originally scheduled to take place later that day, had been cancelled.
"The cancellation follows a positive test, subsequent quarantining, and contact tracing within the Virginia men's basketball program," the announcement read.
As a result, Georgia Tech will automatically advance to the championship game, playing the winners of Friday's semifinals game between Florida State and North Carolina.
The news came just one day after it was announced that the Duke University Blue Devils would be exiting the tournament following a positive COVID-19 test.
"We went from an exhilarating game-winning shot to beat Syracuse to a gut punch regarding the positive COVID-19 test within our program. I'm hurting for our players, especially our seniors," Tony Bennett, Virginia's head coach, said in a statement.
"This is incredibly disappointing for our players. They have done what has been asked of them in very challenging circumstances," added Director of Athletics Carla Williams. "It's unfortunate the ACC Tournament has concluded for us, but we have turned our attention to the NCAA Tournament. We are in communication with the appropriate officials regarding our participation."
The team's status for the upcoming NCAA Tournament, scheduled to start on March 18, has yet to be determined.
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Teams that win their conference tournament are automatically entered into the NCAA tournament, though other teams that didn't may be invited by a selection committee.
As ESPN noted, in order to play in the tournament, teams need to have seven consecutive negative tests, and undergo daily testing while in Indianapolis. NCAA senior VP of basketball Dan Gavitt has also previously said that in order to participate, teams will need at least five healthy players.
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While Virginia's March Madness future remains in doubt, Duke athletic director Kevin White announced that the team's season is over.
"Unfortunately, after going an entire season with no positive COVID-19 tests among our men's basketball student-athletes and coaching staff, one member of our program tested positive following Wednesday's ACC Tournament game in Greensboro," White said in a statement on Thursday. "As a result, this will end our 2020-21 season. We wish every team still playing college basketball good health and the very best during the next few weeks."
"I'm heartbroken for our student-athletes, coaches and support staff at both Duke and Virginia," ACC commissioner Jim Phillips said in a statement on Friday. "We will follow the lead of our medical personnel to ensure the health and safety of our programs remain the top priority. Our student-athletes and schools have been remarkable this entire season while enduring incredibly challenging circumstances."
On Sunday, the NCAA will announce which 68 teams will be invited to play in the men's basketball tournament. The event, known as Selection Sunday, will be broadcast at 6 p.m. ET on CBS. Read more about it here.
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