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Nearly all March Madness teams have arrived in Indy

Five positive COVID-19 tests identified out of more than 2,300

Nearly every team — 67 of 68 — selected for the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship has arrived in Indianapolis, NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt said Tuesday morning. Virginia is expected to arrive in time to complete testing protocols for its first-round game Saturday night.

Gavitt provided updates and answered questions related to the operations of the 68-team tournament being held entirely in Indiana. Below are a few key takeaways from Tuesday’s media briefing. The full recording is available here

Testing Update

As of Tuesday morning, five positive COVID-19 cases were identified out of more than 2,300 completed tests for Tier 1, 2 and 3 individuals.

For privacy reasons, the NCAA will not disclose specific details within the aggregate testing numbers it reports. Gavitt emphasized that it should not be assumed that the positive results are players or coaches, as test results include each member of a team’s 34-person travel party, NCAA and event staff members, and the Division I Men’s Basketball Selection Committee members.

Complete testing details for all NCAA championships are available here

Officials

Six officials will be unable to work the Indiana-based tournament as a result of one positive test result and five close contacts as determined by the Marion County Public Health Department. Four of those six officials have been replaced by a predetermined pool of officials who have continued to follow NCAA COVID-19 testing protocols.

“It’s really disappointing for everyone involved and unfortunate,” Gavitt said. “We did anticipate, like we did with teams, that it was a possibility we could have positives among officials. So, we identified in advance and had approved by the Men’s Basketball Committee up to 17 replacement officials that we’re continuing to test over the last seven days and would be available in the unfortunate circumstance that we’re faced with now.”

Gavitt also noted that 109 officials are normally used for the Division I men’s basketball tournament. That number is 77 for this year’s tournament given that all games are in Indiana, with 60 initially invited to work the championship in Indiana and another 17 on standby.

All the officials have been evaluated throughout the entire season, nominated by conferences, and determined to be tournament-worthy by NCAA National Coordinator of Men’s Basketball Officiating J.D. Collins and his staff. “We’re very confident they are outstanding officials and will do a great job for the tournament,” Gavitt said.