On Thursday afternoon, the NCAA released a contingency plan for teams that are forced to either leave the tournament or not accept a bid due to COVID issues within the programs.
This plan will be what both the men’s and women’s NCAA tournament will follow in the case any of these issues come about.
Here are the major points this plan will have in place, all of which can be found on NCAA.com.
- Once the bracket is finalized and released, teams will not be reseeded, nor will the bracket change.
- Reasonable efforts will be made to ensure a full field is in place before the start of the championship. No replacement teams will be introduced after the championship begins.
- Every participating conference should have the opportunity for a minimum of one team in the championship field.
- Beyond the goal of having at least one team from every conference, replacement teams must be among the best teams being considered for an at-large bid.
Another big factor that will come in to play here is that teams can only be welcomed into the tournament due to a team withdrawing 48 hours after the release of the bracket. If a team drops after that 48 hours their spot in the bracket will be empty.
In what is an interesting plan the NCAA has put into place, it is evident they are wanting this years tournament to happen. Which I’m sure no fans are going to argue with after missing last years tournament completely.
What does this mean for Kentucky? For the Women’s team they are a lock to make it in this season barring a COVID issue. For the men’s team it sure does make it interesting. Easiest way in is win the SEC tournament everyone knows that. Second approach, let’s say they win out and make a run to the conference tournament championship. Do you have the potential to get an at large-bid or be on the cusp and get a spot due to a team not meeting COVID protocols? With this system it could be possible.
I guess this season “March Madness” is going to have a whole new meaning to it.
Either way March is practically here folks. The Cats are on a hot streak, and only seem to be getting better from here with Nashville only being a week out. Let’s have some fun.