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How Will March Madness Pools Handle the Canceled Game?

todayMarch 21, 2021 2

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If you picked Oregon to win its first-round game in one of the popular online tournaments, you may or may not get points depending on which one you entered.

The N.C.A.A.’s view, for official record-keeping purposes, is that the game was a no-contest — that No. 7 seed Oregon advances without earning a win, and No. 10 seed Virginia Commonwealth is disqualified without taking a loss or considering the game a forfeit.

In the world of March Madness pools, however, the implications of the missed game are much more unclear.

The N.C.A.A.’s Bracket Challenge does not state what happens if a team has to drop out because of virus-related protocols. It does state that the sponsors are not responsible for any sort of cancellations in the tournament and that the prizes could be impacted.

According to ESPN’s Tournament Challenge official rules, “In the event a Tournament basketball game does not occur as scheduled (e.g., due to cancellation) no points will be awarded for that game.”

That means that 10 points will be removed from everyone’s total available points, but you will not lose any if you picked V.C.U.

CBS Sports Bracket Challenge rules are a little less clear, stating, “In the event that a scheduled game is canceled or pre-empted for any reason, no points will be awarded for the affected NCAA teams. If a team is forced to forfeit a matchup resulting in another team advancing, points may still be rewarded to for the winning team.” That makes it unclear whether CBS’s tournament players will get points.

Yahoo’s Fantasy Tournament rules do not specifically state what happens to individual games, but it does say that sponsors of the $50,000 sweepstakes reserve the right to “award one or more of the promoted prizes at the time the 2021 Tournament is affected, or to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Contest without awarding some or all of the promoted prizes.”

Sports Illustrated’s bracket challenge is the only one that clearly says it will still give points if you still picked correctly. “If a team that was selected is forced out of the tournament due to COVID protocols after the bracket entry deadline, the selection will stand and be considered a loss,” its rules said.

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