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College basketball: Auburn out of luck as NCAA won't release tournament brackets

NCAA tournament teaser

The NCAA won't be releasing brackets for its annual men's and women's basketball tournaments.

Although the NCAA announced Thursday it was canceling the tournaments because of concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, schools, coaches, players and fans had requested that the NCAA release the bracket for recognition of the teams included.

Dave Gavitt, NCAA vice president of basketball, released a statement that if brackets were released, they wouldn't be a complete representation of the season.

"The women's basketball committee had yet to even commence their selection meeting, and the men's basketball committee had only just begun their selection process," Gavitt's statement read."There were 19 men's and 18 women's conference tournaments that had yet to be completed when the NCAA championships were cancelled. A total of 132 men's games and 81 women's games were never played, resulting in those automatic qualifiers not being determined on the court.

"The important work of the basketball committees is to set up competitively-balanced brackets to determine national champions. I don't believe it's responsible or fair to do that with incomplete seasons -- especially for tournaments that unfortunately won't be played. Therefore there will not by any NCAA Division I men's and women's basketball championship selection shows or tournament brackets released this year."

Auburn, a Final Four team a year ago, was a lock to be included on any bracket. The Tigers are 25-6 and finished tied for second in the Southeastern Conference with LSU. Kentucky was the SEC champion.

Alabama would not have made the field. The Tide was 16-15 and ninth in the SEC at 8-10.

In women's basketball, Auburn (11-18, 4-12 SEC) wouldn't have made the field, but Alabama (18-12, 8-8) was hopeful of making the bracket and gaining its first NCAA bid since 1999.

Jacksonville State's men (13-19) and women (14-16) would not have made the brackets. The Ohio Valley Conference played its tournaments a week ago, and both JSU teams lost in the first round.

Sports Editor Mark Edwards: 256-235-3570. On Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.