Conferences that host multiple teams in a tournament – as the ACC and Big 12 are likely to do – face a completely different scenario if one of their schools withdraws. If a team from a conference with more than one school in parentheses is unable to participate in the tournament, organizers will look at four specific alternate teams from university basketball and place one in the open position.
The table will be considered final on Tuesday at 6pm Eastern Time. If the school has to withdraw at any time after that, it will not be replaced and its planned opponent will automatically progress.
Neither Duke, who struggled this season and finished 13-11, nor North Carolina A&T were considered contenders for the title. But absences from Kansas, Virginia or both could significantly change the way to the championship game on April 5.
Although Virginia (18-6) battled the virus in December, the team was a defensive force. Nearly two years after the Cavaliers won their first national title, they were the first holder of the ACC tournament for the fifth time in eight seasons.
What Kansas pulled out of the Big 12 tournament was less astonishing; on Tuesday, the school announced that two players, including center David McCormack, would be left out of the tournament due to virus protocol.
Kansas, which was No. 2 seed in the Big 12 tournament, made a 20-8 record this season, although it lost to several ranked teams, including Baylor, Gonzaga, Texas and West Virginia. The Jayhawks ’withdrawal on Friday automatically moved Texas to the Big 12 championship game, while Virginia’s exit allowed Georgia Tech to advance in the ACC competition.
Josh Pastner, Georgia Tech coach, said Friday afternoon that his school had not considered quitting the ACC tournament even if such a move would reduce the risk of virus infection of its players. The two finalists, Florida State and Georgia Tech, are comfortably scheduled to compete in the NCAA tournament, as is North Carolina, which lost to the state of Florida on Friday night.