NCAA Basketball Committees Confirm 2021 COVID Contingency Plans

The NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Committees have decided how they will address multiple situations including a team having to withdraw from the 2021 Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships due to COVID-19 problems.

Full field in place

Each also developed a series of rules that specify that until the bracket is finalised and released, neither teams nor the bracket can be reseeded. Before the championship begins, fair attempts will be taken to ensure that a full field is in place, and no replacement teams will be added until the championship begins.

A minimum of one team from each competing conference should be eligible to participate in the championship game. Furthermore, substitute teams must be among the better teams being considered for an at-large bid, in addition to the goal of getting at least one team from each league.

Following suit

According to the NCAA release, other championships committees are expected to follow similar procedures.

There are also two policies on whether a team is required to withdraw: one for before the championship field is revealed and one for after the bracket is published.

Replacement teams will be added into the championship just 48 hours after the field is revealed, and not after that.


Tap here to see the criteria for replacing teams in the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. The rules for the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship can be found here. Other Division I championship rules can be found here.

The men’s bracket will be announced at 6 p.m. Eastern time on CBS on Sunday, March 14, and the women’s bracket will be revealed at 7 p.m. Eastern time on ESPN on Monday, March 15.