Kansas, Oklahoma NCAA Tournament Bids In Question After COVID-19 Positive Test

Kansas, Oklahoma NCAA Tournament Bids In Question After COVID-19 Positive Test article feature image
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Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Kansas Jayhawks head coach Bill Self.

The Kansas Jayhawks are out of the Big 12 Tournament after a positive COVID-19 test, and Oklahoma could be impacted, too.

A player tested positive on the Jayhawks, and according to CBS Sports, that person played in the team’s conference tournament game against Oklahoma. That brings the status of both teams in question for next week’s NCAA Tournament.

Kansas is the third major team to withdraw from a conference tournament, joining Duke and Virginia in the ACC. Duke doesn’t have the resume for NCAA Tournament consideration, but Virginia’s status is to be determined as the team goes through NCAA protocols.

Kansas will now have to do the same.

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“Obviously we are disappointed and our players are disappointed that they can’t continue to compete for the Big 12 championship,” head coach Bill Self said in a statement. “While we have been fortunate to avoid this throughout the season, there are daily risks with this virus that everybody participating is trying to avoid. We have followed the daily testing and additional protocols that have been setup for us, unfortunately we caught a bad break at the wrong time. I look forward to preparing my team in probably a unique way for next week’s NCAA Tournament.”

In order to be cleared to play, the NCAA Health and Safety Protocols are as follows:

“All Tier 1 travel party participants will be required to undergo and document seven consecutive negative COVID-19 tests prior to arrival into Indianapolis. The NCAA will work with IU Health to provide health related support including the administration of daily PCR tests for Tier 1 individuals upon arrival and throughout the tournament. Tier 1 participants include student-athletes, coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists, medical staff, equipment staff and officials.”

NCAA senior vice president of college basketball Dan Gavitt has communicated that teams need just five players to pass protocol to be eligible to participate should a team earn a bid.

It’s the exact same situation Virginia is going through. Oklahoma could find itself in it as well if a positive test comes up in the coming days.

From our breakdown on Virginia, which applies to Kansas:

Next, Virginia would have to produce seven consecutive negative tests by March 17 or March 18, depending on how the NCAA is counting consecutive days. For UVA, that stipulation is straightforward enough. But for the NCAA Tournament organizers, it’s a calculated risk.

If Virginia is granted a NCAA Tournament bid, and then the program reports a positive COVID-19 test following the bracket reveal on Sunday, March 14, then the NCAA will replace Virginia with one of the first four teams left out of contention in the initial bracket release.

However, if the Cavaliers’ positive test occurs after Tuesday, March 16 at 6 p.m. ET, then it’s already too late. That date and time reflects the NCAA’s firm deadline for team replacements in this year’s tournament: Any team that withdraws from play after that deadline would not be replaced by another team waiting in the wings; instead, it would forfeit its opening game, and its opponent would automatically advance to the next round.

Selection Sunday is scheduled for March 14 at 6 p.m. ET.

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