NCAA reveals COVID-19 contingency plans for hoops tourneys

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APTOPIX Mississippi Missouri Basketball

Mississippi’s Romello White, right, KJ Buffen, center, and Missouri’s Kobe Brown, left, battle for a rebound during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

The NCAA has come up with a contingency plan in case teams can’t play in the March Madness tournaments because of COVID-19.

The first four at-large teams that don’t make the original field will be placed in order and serve as replacement teams.

The plan only applies to the short period between the announcement of the bracket and the start of games.

Once the tournaments begin, a team whose opponent is forced to withdraw would automatically advance to the next round.

According to ESPN, after the tournament begins, replacement teams won’t be allowed.

ESPN reported that bracket changes and reseeding won’t be allowed once the bracket is released on Selection Sunday.

Within 48 hours of the field being released will replacement teams then be introduced, The Associated Press reported.

According to The AP, if potential at-large teams are unable to meet the medical protocols by the first game of the NCAA tournament, they must notify the selection committee the night before the field is announced.

The tournament is slated to begin on March 18.

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