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The NCAA Tournament bracket is locked, and no standby teams will be needed

The deadline for teams to withdraw due to COVID-19 issues just passed. Now the only path for the Cards or any other standby team are positive tests in the “bubble” of Indiana

Louisville Cardinals forward Quinn Slazinski shoots against Duke Blue Devils forward Matthew Hurt during the first half in the second round of the 2021 ACC tournament at Greensboro Coliseum.  Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re reading this, the field of 68 for the 2021 NCAA Tournament has “locked,” and no replacement teams are needed that are on standby will enter the bracket. The deadline was Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.

The NCAA in a statement at 4:20 p.m. earlier today addressed the status of all teams in the field:

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.

Louisville, Colorado State, Saint Louis, and Mississippi were all waiting the lat 48 hours to see if a team would be unable to go forward in the tournament and sent home due to positive tests in the “controlled environment” the NCAA is providing for all teams in Indiana.

But from here forward if any of the 68 teams is out due to a positive test, they’ll just forfeit the upcoming game and the bracket will continue with their opponent advancing.

The Cardinals were a tough choice to be left on the bubble, but finishing with back-to-back losses to Virginia and Duke by double digits did enough to leave them home. Colorado State beat San Diego State and Boise State, but those two quality wins weren’t enough. Saint Louis went 1-2 against the top two teams in the A-10 in VCU and St. Bonaventure, but were just 4-2 against Quad 3 teams they should have beaten.

For more information on March Madness odds and betting go here.