5 Virginia teams receive NCAA Tournament bids

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Posted at 11:45 PM, Mar 14, 2021

NORFOLK, Va. - College basketball's NCAA Tournament bracket was released Sunday and five teams from Virginia received bids.

The group includes Virginia, Virginia Tech, Norfolk State, VCU and Liberty. Although, there is a chance that the Cavaliers are unable to compete.

After a UVA player tested positive for COVID-19 after the team's ACC Tournament quarterfinals win, the Cavaliers had to exit the tournament. As a result, the majority of the team is in quarantine.

The Cavaliers are required to test negative for seven straight days before arriving in Indianapolis for the tournament, so if all goes well, that puts Virginia in Indianapolis on Friday. That's the first day they'd be allowed to travel or practice, and just one day before they're scheduled to face Ohio in the First Round.

"Because we saw our name, had negative tests, that's why we're optimisitc and we have that chance," Virginia men's basketball coach Tony Bennett said. "Our guys earned this opportunity and that's why there is a cause for, we go in there grateful, humbly and gonna be as ready as we can given the circumstances."

The defending national champs will be staying ready by working out indivisually and preparing for the game via Zoom. This marks UVA's 7th straight and 24th overall NCAA Tournament appearance.

Norfolk State will be playing on the tournament's opening day when they face Appalachian State in the First Four.

When the bracket matchups were released Spartans head coach Robert Jones says that before he noticed who his team was facing, he saw that the winner would go on to face No. 1 seed Gonzaga.

The Spartans are no strangers to upsets, because they had one in their last tournament appearance in 2012 when they made history by upsetting No. 2 seed Missouri. If they can pull off some March Madness magic again nine years later, Jones jokes that they'll need a trophy in front of Echols Hall.

"It's a totally different game than Norfolk State Missouri. If we pull this one off they might as well put a statue in front of Echols," Jones said. "I don't know what else I can do if we pull this one off. People might forget about the Missouri game to be honest with you if we do that. First things first, Appalachian State."

Norfolk State's game is schedule for 8:40 p.m. Thursday at Indiana University’s Assembly Hall.