Cavaliers join Blue Devils on sidelines at ACC


By AARON BEARD - AP Basketball Writer



Virginia head coach Tony Bennett watches play during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Syracuse in the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, March 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Virginia head coach Tony Bennett watches play during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Syracuse in the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, March 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)


Virginia guard Reece Beekman (2) gets a hug from head coach Tony Bennett after sinking the game winning shot during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Syracuse in the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, March 11, 2021. Virginia defeated Syracuse 72-69.(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)


The Atlantic Coast Conference has canceled its tournament semifinal game between No. 16 Virginia and Georgia Tech due to a positive COVID-19 test, quarantining and contact tracing within the Cavaliers program.

The league called off its second tournament game in two days on Friday morning, less than 12 hours before the Yellow Jackets and Cavaliers were set to play the first of two semifinal games. That means Georgia Tech will advance to Saturday’s championship game to face the winner of the North Carolina-Florida State matchup.

The cancellation came a day after Duke withdrew from the tournament and ended its season amid its own positive test before facing the Seminoles in the quarterfinals.

The Cavaliers (18-6) are the tournament’s top seed and were coming off a win against Syracuse on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Reece Beekman on Thursday.

“This whole year has been a lot different for everyone with the testing protocols, socially distancing, wearing masks, making sure you’re not seeing people outside of your bubble really,” guard Sam Hauser said after the Syracuse win.

“Pretty proud of our guys. We were very disciplined throughout the year and continue to be, especially this time of the year when if you get a COVID bug like that, it could end your season. … We’re just going to continue to take the right protocols, and we should be all right.”

It’s unclear exactly how this could impact Virginia going forward into the NCAA Tournament. The tournament will be held entirely in the state of Indiana to create what NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt has called a “controlled environment” instead of a bubble.

The tournament protocols include requiring each member of a team’s travel party to complete seven negative COVID-19 tests before leaving for Indianapolis. Gavitt has said a team can continue to play if it has five players available through those safety protocols.

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Virginia head coach Tony Bennett watches play during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Syracuse in the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, March 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/03/web1_126356594-2b1c3c57028c4cadb67ea3dddbb60937.jpgVirginia head coach Tony Bennett watches play during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Syracuse in the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, March 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Virginia guard Reece Beekman (2) gets a hug from head coach Tony Bennett after sinking the game winning shot during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Syracuse in the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, March 11, 2021. Virginia defeated Syracuse 72-69.(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/03/web1_126356594-9d4955b71dd148d281b7f537221d859e.jpgVirginia guard Reece Beekman (2) gets a hug from head coach Tony Bennett after sinking the game winning shot during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Syracuse in the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, March 11, 2021. Virginia defeated Syracuse 72-69.(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

By AARON BEARD

AP Basketball Writer