March Madness: Winners and losers from the men’s NCAA tournament first round Saturday

Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs @ Milwaukee Bucks
Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs @ Milwaukee Bucks

The NCAA has canceled Saturday night’s VCU-Oregon first round game. Read the NCAA’s full statement below.

“The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee has declared the VCU-Oregon game scheduled for Saturday night at Indiana Farmers Coliseum a no-contest because of COVID-19 protocols. This decision was made in consultation with the Marion County Public Health Department. As a result, Oregon will advance to the next round of the tournament. The NCAA and the committee regret that VCU’s student-athletes and coaching staff will not be able to play in a tournament in which they earned the right to participate. Because of privacy issues we cannot provide further details.”

Round 1 at the 2021 NCAA Tournament was filled with upsets and the typical madness that is March, including a surprising no-contest, the reigning national champion getting knocked off in an upset and several of the top-seeded teams getting good scares or eliminated altogether.

As the field takes shape with an even 32 teams entering Round 2, we should be in for quite a treat. No. 1 seeds Illinois and Baylor will kick off second-round action in consecutive games on CBS on Sunday afternoon. Also on deck is an OSU vs. OSU matchup (Oregon State vs. Oklahoma State), cinderella-hopeful Oral Roberts taking on Florida and a pair of 3 seeds in West Virginia and Arkansas drawing tough matchups stylistically with Syracuse and Texas Tech, respectively.

As the home of March Madness, CBS Sports will be tracking every game and every score as we keep you apprised of notable developments in our continuously updating live NCAA Tournament Bracket with matchup analysis for every game. And the schedule? It’s hard to keep up with on that printable bracket of yours. So we’ve got you covered on that front right here with an easy-to-digest version featuring viewing information for each game.

Entering this year’s unprecedented COVID-19 NCAA Tournament, at least one virus cancelation seemed to inevitably loom over the field of 64. On Saturday evening, that feared first cancelation hit.

Tonight’s matchup between N0. 7 seed Oregon and No. 10 seed VCU has been ruled a no-contest due to COVID-19 protocols. With the virus issues occurring on the Rams’ side of things, the Ducks will move on to the round of 32.

In an official statement released by the NCAA on Twitter, the league explained that the decision was made in consultation with the Marion County Public Health Department. Details about the scale of the potential outbreak were not divulged due to “privacy issues.”

“The NCAA and the committee regret that VCU’s student-athletes and coaching staff will not be able to play in a tournament in which they earned the right to participate,” the league wrote.

You have to feel for this VCU team that fought its way to a second place finish in the Atlantic 10 conference and earned its first NCAA Tournament bid since 2018-19 — just to be booted without getting a chance to even attempt an upset.

With the forfeited “win” over the Rams, Oregon now extends the PAC-12’s perfect round of 64 record to 5-0.

Tom Izzo felt Joshua Langford gave him everything he had.

And it appears Michigan State basketball’s three-time captain ended his career early Friday morning with the Spartans’ 86-80 NCAA tournament loss to UCLA.

A fifth-year senior, Langford could return for the 2021-22 season and not count against MSU’s limit of 13 scholarships. Both he and Izzo hinted earlier this month the native of Huntsville, Alabama, was at least pondering that option.

Though he could change his mind, the 24-year-old seemed to be at peace and set in his decision to move on with his future.

“It’s my last college basketball game for Michigan State,” Langford said, “so that’s tough.”

He did not elaborate if his next step will be to pursue professional basketball opportunities, transfer to another college or end his playing career.

Three years to the day of his last NCAA appearance, against Syracuse in 2018, Langford scored 12 points — including 10 in the second half and overtime after injuring his ankle — on 5-for-8 shooting. The 6-foot-6 guard grabbed seven rebounds, handed out four assists and blocked a shot in 36 minutes against the Bruins.

Langford is a former McDonald’s All-American and five-star recruit who was part of Izzo’s vaunted 2016 recruiting haul (along with Miles Bridges, Cassius Winston and Nick Ward). He suffered a stress reaction in his left foot Dec. 29, 2018 against Northern Illinois that ended his sophomore season and required surgery. Langford attempted to return in the summer of 2019, but a similar injury in a different part of the same foot necessitated a second surgery in December 2019 that ended his season before he could play.

After a first day of spectacular upsets, the second day of first-round matchups in the men’s NCAA Tournament delivered more madness.

Bracket-busting and Cinderella runs were brewing but ultimately put to rest in the early set of games, as Kansas staved off No. 14 Eastern Washington’s upset bid despite trailing at halftime and Florida State shook off a late rally by No. 13 seed UNC Greensboro. Then later in the day Creighton barely evaded an upset by escaping UC Santa Barbara by one point.

Major upsets finally materialized in the later games with No. 13 seed Ohio sending the reigning national champion Virginia Cavaliers home and No. 14 Abilene Christian clipping No. 3 Texas.

March Madness: Illinois vs Loyola Chicago 2021 Live College Basketball Preview Online

March Madness: Baylor vs Wisconsin 2021 Live College Basketball Preview Online

March Madness: West Virginia vs Syracuse 2021 Live College Basketball Preview Online

March Madness: Arkansas vs Texas Tech 2021 Live College Basketball Preview Online

The big news of the day was the first-round game between No. 7 seed Oregon and No. 10 seed Virginia Commonwealth being called off three hours before it was to begin because of COVID-19 concerns. The game was ruled a no-contest and Oregon automatically advances to the second round, as VCU had several players test positive at the last minute.