Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel talks about Oregon-VCU being declared a no-contest due to COVID protocols with the Rams.
PETE THAMEL: For the first nearly 48 hours of the NCAA Tournament the focus has been on overtimes, buzzer beaters, and upsets. But a season shrouded by COVID-19 could not keep the virus out of impacting the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
On Saturday evening the NCAA announced that the late tip between number seven, Oregon, and number 10, VCU, would not be played. The NCAA declared the game a no contest, and Oregon will advance to the second round without playing a game.
The NCAA said in a statement that this is due to COVID-19 protocols and, as a result, Oregon advances to the next round. The NCAA said that the organization and the selection committee regret VCU student athletes and coaching staff will not be able to play in a tournament in which they earned the right to participate.
The tournament has gone on, in part, because of stringent testing protocol. Teams needed to pass testing protocols for seven consecutive days before being allowed to play in the tournament. Many teams came directly from their conference tournaments to Indianapolis to avoid stopping in campus.
For VCU, apparently that was not enough. The NCAA, citing privacy laws, did not detail exactly what happened with VCU. If it was a flurry of positive tests, if it was an issue with contact tracing, that's uncertain as of right now. But what we know is we have the first lost game of the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Number seven, Oregon, advances, and number 10, VCU, will not get a chance to play in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.