No ticket, no dance.
On Sunday, 68 teams were admitted to the 2021 NCAA Tournament, the first March Madness since COVID-19 derailed last March’s tournament.
For four teams, though, that hiatus will likely continue. The tournament, unfortunately, isn’t big enough for everybody, which led to some surprising snubs on Selection Sunday. Louisville was the headliner among the first four out, joined by Colorado State, Saint Louis and Ole Miss.
Those squads will still have an opportunity to play in the tournament — if teams are forced to withdraw because of positiive coronavirus tests by 6 p.m. ET Tuesday, March 16.
The First Four Teams Out, who will be on standby to replace any team from a multi-bid conference that is forced to withdraw. pic.twitter.com/nHhv1IvEjQ
— March Madness TV (@MarchMadnessTV) March 14, 2021
NCAA Tournament snubs
2020-21 record: 13-7 (8-5 ACC)
While this might be a surprise based on name value, the lack of a resume did the Cardinals in.
They dealt with serious COVID-related issues this year, with a 19-day hiatus in the middle of February helping to torpedo their chances at the dance. They also had a 1-6 record in Quad 1 games.
To make matters worse for Cardinals fans, Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart, the chairman of the selection committee, got to explain why Louisville didn’t get a chance to play in the tournament: Barnhart cited the Cardinals’ resume and COVID stoppage as the main factors.
2020-21 record: 18-6 (14-4 Mouintain West)
Colorado State was rolling before a COVID-related stoppage halted its momentum in mid-February. The program wound up being idle for three weeks.
The Rams lost in the Mountain West Tournament final to Utah State, and surprising outcomes in other conference tournaments — Georgetown destroying Creighton in the Big East and Oregon State downing Colorado in the Pac-12 — worsened the Rams’ odds of making the NCAA Tournament.
2020-21 record: 14-7 (6-4 Atlantic 10)
Similar to Louisville, Saint Louis also dealt with a long COVID-related stoppage, missing nearly two months of court time. When SLU finally returned to the court in late January, it was still ranked in the top 25, but it couldn’t recover.
The Billikens were a force at home (12-1 overall) and secured some key wins early in the season against LSU and N.C. State. Unfortunately for them, their lack of an extensive resume, due largely to the limited number of games played, sealed their fate.
2020-21 record: 16-11 (10-8 SEC)
The Rebels had a pair of impressive victories over Missouri, which made the tournament this year, but still found themselves as the last of the replacement teams.
Ole Miss preformed well down the stretch, finishing 8-3 from the start of February, but the conference record and lack of high-quality wins doomed it.