5 Players and 6 Refs Out of NCAA Tournament due to COVID

COVID deflated the entire March Madness buzz last year. As teams traveled to compete in conference tournaments last week without any spacing between games, some positive cases popped up.

Many have began to question why conference tournaments were played at all (or earlier)? Also, why wasn’t there a week between when conference tournaments concluded and March Madness began? The answer is, CBS does not want the tournament games to overlap with Masters coverage. 

With that, here are the exact members of each team that have to quarantine away from their respective squads.

02/06/2021 Oklahoma vs IowaState men’s basketball. Photo by Ty Russell

De’Vion Harmon (OU) – Oklahoma’s second leading scorer averaged 12.9 points and 3.4 rebounds while starting 23 out of 25 games. He will not be available until the Sweet 16, if his team is able to advance that far.

Moses Wright (G.Tech) – this absence will certainly be felt as Wright was undeniably a top ACC performer all season. He averaged 17.4 PPG and 8.0 Rebs per game. His absence will certainly be felt as GT tries to take down Loyola Chi who has brought Sister Jean along for the ride. Interesting decision there but who knows ..

Jalen Wilson (KU) – the loss of this truly positionless player could affect the Jayhawks. He averaged 12.1 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game and can guard any position. He will not be eligible to break quarantine until Monday.

Tristin Enaruna/David McCormack (KU) – these Kansas big men are going to be forced to sit out for KU contests due to positive COVID tests. It is unclear if either of them even made the trip to Indianapolis.

Casey Morsell (UVA) – this is one of the lower impact COVID absences. This guard only averaged 4.3 points and 14 minutes per game.

6 Referees – 2 unnamed and four of which dined at a steakhouse including Ted Valentine, John Higgins, Kipp Kissinger and Roger Ayers. Their negligence to bubble protocols and subsequent contact tracing resulted in six referees being sent home. 

Well, COVID won the 2020 March Madness Championship – let’s just hope it doesn’t ravage its’ way through this years bracket as well. It is always mighty tricky to pick a bracket that doesn’t bust and now there is an airborne virus in the mix – Buon Fortuna !

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