Gavitt provides March Madness updates
More than 2,100 tests administered with zero positives in Indy
More than 2,100 COVID-19 tests have been administered with zero confirmed positives for the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, as of Monday morning.
NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt provided updates and answered questions related to the operations of the 68-team tournament being held entirely in Indiana.
Below are a few key takeaways from Monday’s media briefing. The full recording is available in the NCAA’s Digital Media Hub.
In addition to having zero confirmed positive cases so far among teams in Indianapolis, Gavitt addressed the requirement for teams to produce two negative tests after they arrive and before they can practice. Those two tests must be separated by at least 12 hours and therefore can occur on the same day. This is on top of the required seven consecutive negative tests each travel party member must produce before coming to Indianapolis and daily testing as long as they are in the tournament.
Four teams not included in the 68-team field will function as replacement teams should any automatic qualifiers from multi-bid conferences or any at-large teams be unable to meet the championship’s COVID-19 protocols. As announced by the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, those four teams, in descending order, are Louisville, Colorado State, Saint Louis, and Ole Miss.
“We’ve been in contact with those schools. They are testing and prepared to come to Indianapolis, if needed,” Gavitt said.
The deadline for replacement team decisions for those teams or any other automatic qualifiers from single-bid leagues is 6 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday.
Brigham Young Sunday Policy
Brigham Young, a No. 6 seed in the East Region, does not compete on Sundays, per school policy. The NCAA honors that policy in all of its championships and will do so if the Cougars advance to the Sweet 16.
In that scenario, Gavitt said the Men’s Basketball Selection Committee has plans in place for the East Region and Midwest Region to swap game dates. Currently, the East Region’s first- and second-round games are scheduled for Saturday, March 20, and Monday, March 22, with Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games set for Sunday, March 28, and Tuesday, March 30.
If BYU advances to the Sweet 16, the East Region’s Sweet 16 and Elite Eight matchups would be switched to Saturday, March 27, and Monday, March 29. The Midwest Region’s schedule would go from those dates to Sunday, March 28, and Tuesday, March 30.
“That contingency will only be utilized in the event that BYU were to advance to the Sweet 16,” Gavitt said. “If they do not, then there would be no change to dates for any teams for regionals.”