Latest NCAAB News and Notes
Unfortunately, the sport of college basketball is still dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has affected a few teams as they compete for a conference tournament title. The hope is that this won’t occur in the NCAA Tournament, but it’s highly likely that it will happen.
COVID-19 Knocking Teams Out
Duke University was the first school to announce that it was forced to withdraw from the ACC Tournament due to a positive COVID-19 test. This allowed the Florida State Seminoles to advance to the semifinals uncontested and ended the season for the Duke Blue Devils.
On Friday morning, it was announced that the top seed in the ACC Tournament, Virginia Cavaliers, was also forced to withdraw from the tournament field. This allowed the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets to advance to the ACC title game.
It is unclear if Virginia will be able to compete in the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, as that action begins in just one week. Testing will continue for the entire Cavaliers roster, and contact tracing will be conducted to determine how many healthy and available players are left.
North Carolina A&T was the top overall seed in the MEAC Tournament, but they were also forced to end their season prematurely thanks to a positive COVID-19 test. The Aggies were set to take on Norfolk State in the quarterfinals of the MEAC Tournament.
Five Players Needed to Compete in NCAA Tournament
Earlier this week, the NCAA announced that a school needs just five available players to remain in the NCAA Tournament bracket, but a decision has not yet been made about whether a head coach is needed.
After the NCAA Tournament brackets are announced on Sunday, a decision must be made by Tuesday at 6 PM if they are unable to field a team. There will be teams chosen as potential replacements, and any changes will have to be made at that time.
The NCAA Committee has made it clear that teams will not be replaced after the tournament begins.
Controversy Surrounding Garza Announcement
The University of Iowa announced last week that it would be retiring the number 55 jersey of All-American Luka Garza. Garza has won back-to-back National Player of the Year Awards, and the honor was rightly deserved from the university.
The family of Roy Marble expressed disappointment and anger at the university after the Garza jersey retirement was announced. Marble was the previous record holder for most career points at Iowa and led the Hawkeyes to a 30-win season back in 1987.
Marble passed away at the age of 48 in 2015, and his number has yet to be retired by the school. Off-court issues seem to be the reason for the decision by the university, but the school has attempted to honor him in other ways.
Earlier this week, Iowa athletic director Gary Barta issued a statement, formally apologizing to the Marble family for upsetting them.
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