Selection Sunday has revealed the final field of 68 teams for the 2021 NCAA Tournament. And, as is tradition, there were several teams that were not only disappointed with the seeded players, but were also completely out of the picture.
Enter Louisville, Colorado State, Saint Louis and Ole Miss, the top four teams from March Madness.
And yet there is still a glimmer of hope for these teams to participate in the NCAA Tournament: Under the organization’s new rules, any one of those four teams could replace a tournament-bound team if the latter cannot. playing due to COVID-19 issues. . But it is not that simple.
MORE: NCAA Tournament Protocols to Replace Teams
Here’s everything you need to know about how Louisville, Colorado State, Saint Louis, and Ole Miss can remain March Madness despite not being selected for the 2021 NCAA Tournament:
NCAA COVID-19 Tournament Protocols
On February 25, the NCAA released various protocols to replace teams unable to play in March Madness due to COVID-19 issues. In particular, the first four teams to leave can still enter if a multi-offer league has a team that withdraws before 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday. One-time offer conferences will select replacement teams that choose not to participate, as the NCAA wants as many conferences as possible to be represented (the Ivy League will not participate).
If a team withdraws after that deadline, no replacement teams will be selected; the tournament game will be considered without competition and the team that is able to play will advance. But if a team withdraws before then, the NCAA will select between Louisville, Colorado State, Saint Louis, and Ole Miss in the following order:
- State of colorado
- saint Louis
- Be miss
That means the Cardinals, one of the most notable snubs of the NCAA Tournament, have the first priority to become March Madness if a team withdraws before Tuesday’s deadline.
MORE: Biggest Slights of the 2021 NCAA Tournament
The teams that could potentially be replaced are Kansas and Virginia, both of which came out of their respective conference tournaments with positive aspects of COVID-19. Both teams expressed confidence that they will be able to participate in March Madness, and neither team contacted the NCAA before Saturday’s 11 p.m. ET deadline to inform the organization that it would not meet their criteria to play.
The 11 pm deadline passed and neither team contacted the NCAA men’s basketball selection committee to withdraw from consideration for the NCAA tournament. So that means Kansas and Virginia hope to be drafted and play next week after having to give up this week’s games.
– Andy Katz (@TheAndyKatz) March 14, 2021
Regardless, Louisville, Colorado State, Saint Louis and Ole Miss will await news from the NCAA on whether they have been selected to participate in the tournament. In that time, such teams must have a minimum of five players who produce seven consecutive days of negative COVID-19 testing. Otherwise, they will not be eligible.
If none of the top four teams make it to the NCAA Tournament, they will be considered 1-seeded in the 2021 NIT Tournament. However, it is worth noting that Louisville has already informed the NIT that he will not participate – which means your 2020-21 basketball future depends entirely on whether you can sneak into the NCAA Tournament.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.