COVID-19 concerns have hit the Big Dance.
According to an NCAA press release, the Oregon Ducks and VCU game that was scheduled to be played Saturday night in the NCAA tournament has been ruled “a no-contest due to COVID-19 protocols.”
Per the announcement, Oregon will move onto the Round of 32.
The Ducks will play the winner of No. 2 Iowa and No. 15 Grand Canyon on Monday, March 22nd with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line.
“The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee has declared the VCU-Oregon game scheduled for Saturday night at Indiana Farmers Coliseum a no-contest because of COVID-19 protocols,” said the NCAA via the release.
VCU reportedly had multiple positive tests in the last few days.
“This decision was made in consultation with the Marion County Public Health Department. As a result, Oregon will advance to the next round of the tournament. 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.”
Rather than play a game, Oregon will have a light practice and lifting session tonight per a team's spokesman.
Oregon released a statement from Dana Altman following the cancelation wishing the VCU student-athletes the best.
Dana Altman remains undefeated at Oregon during the first round of the NCAA Tournament but no one expected it to happen like this.
It's the seventh NCAA Tournament appearance for Oregon under head coach Dana Altman (eighth if you count earning the Pac-12's automatic bid in 2019-20). In those appearances, Altman has coached the Ducks to the Round of 32 in all seven tournaments (2013-2017, 2019), made the Sweet 16 four times (2013, 2016, 2017, 2019), the Elite Eight twice (2016, 2017) and the Final Four once (2017).
In NCAA Tournament games under Dana Altman, the Ducks are 13-7.
In January, the NCAA announced the entirety of the men's tournament will be played in Indiana with most games taking place in Indianapolis.
Oregon men's basketball enters the tournament as one of just four teams nationally to have 11 consecutive 20-win seasons, joining Kansas, Belmont, and Gonzaga.