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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Two UVA basketball players. Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The ACC and Big 12 Conferences suffered COVID-related setbacks on Friday with announcements that the University of Virginia and University of Kansas' men's basketball teams had withdrawn from their respective conference tournaments, citing positive tests inside the programs.

Why it matters: The cancellations of the two semifinal games illustrate the continued threat the coronavirus poses to team sports, even as the country's vaccine campaign ramps up.

  • "The withdrawals ... immediately put into doubt whether some of the sport’s most prominent teams will be able to play in the N.C.A.A. tournament, which is scheduled to begin next week," the New York Times writes.

The state of play: Virginia's withdrawal means Georgia Tech automatically advances to the ACC Tournament championship game and will play the winner of Friday evening's Florida State vs. North Carolina game.

  • University of Kansas' drop out will lead the University of Texas to advance to the Big 12 men’s basketball championship game on Saturday.

Flashback: Duke was also forced to withdraw from its ACC quarterfinal match against Florida State on Thursday due to a positive COVID test among one of the team's players, per ESPN.

What they're saying: “I’m heartbroken for our student-athletes, coaches and support staff at both Duke and Virginia. Our teams have worked incredibly hard and sacrificed so much throughout this season," ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips said in a statement.

  • “While we have been fortunate to avoid this throughout the season, there are daily risks with this virus that everybody participating is trying to avoid. We have followed the daily testing and additional protocols that have been setup for us, unfortunately we caught a bad break at the wrong time," said Kansas coach Bill Self, per The Kansas City Star.

Go deeper

What we know about the victims of the Indianapolis mass shooting

Officials load a body into a vehicle at the site of the mass shooting in Indianapolis. Photo:

Eight people who were killed along with several others who were injured in a Thursday evening shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis have been identified by local law enforcement.

The big picture: The Sikh Coalition said at least four of the eight victims were members of the Indianapolis Sikh community.

Pompeo, wife misused State Dept. resources, federal watchdog finds

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The State Department's independent watchdog found that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo violated federal ethics rules when he and his wife asked department employees to perform personal tasks on more than 100 occasions, including picking up their dog and making private dinner reservations.

Why it matters: The report comes as Pompeo pours money into a new political group amid speculation about a possible 2024 presidential run.

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