The University of Oregon Ducks are moving on to the second round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament thanks to the two sweetest words in the English language:
The seventh-seeded Ducks were scheduled to face Virginia Commonwealth University in a first-round matchup Saturday. A few hours before tipoff, however, the game was declared a no-contest after several players for the VCU Rams tested positive for COVID-19.
It's the first tournament game to be canceled due to a positive coronavirus test.
Prior to the start of the tournament, the NCAA said that teams with positive tests would be allowed to continue playing if determined to have at least five "eligible and healthy players" following contact tracing. In the case of VCU, an NCAA spokesman told the Associated Press it "could not guarantee or be comfortable that five or more players would be available without risk."
As a result, Oregon automatically advances to the Round of 32 and will play No. 2-ranked Iowa on Monday.
On Friday, Oregon State University advanced via traditional means: The Beavers outscored their opponent, the Tennessee Volunteers. It's the first time the Ducks and Beavers both made the tournament's second round.