The University of Oregon made history when it won the first NCAA men’s basketball tournament in 1939. And now the Ducks have entered the record books once again.
On Saturday, Oregon was the beneficiary of the first COVID-19 forfeit in tournament history.
“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,” the NCAA said in a statement. “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.”
The NCAA might not be able to provide details, but it’s not too hard to connect the dots on how VCU wound up getting COVID, going back to the Atlantic 10 tournament.
Of course, we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, so it also could’ve been anyone at any time just getting unlucky with who they were in contact with. How many people are you seeing in indoor facilities these days, even knowing there are cameras on them, with either no mask, or a mask below their nose, defeating the entire purpose of said mask?
It’s been more than a year of this, and we’ve just come to accept that sports get played around the pandemic. It remains incredibly stupid, and here’s hoping that everyone at VCU, and the rest of college basketball, comes through this alright.
We said just this morning that this tourney wasn’t quite the same as usual. Now it has suddenly become different, and not in a good way, than any other in history.