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The nightmare scenario no one wants for the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament nearly came to pass on Thursday.

Early in the day, prior to its MVC Tournament first-round game against Southern Illinois, Bradley had a positive COVID-19 test.

“This morning, we thought our season was over for two hours, we were packing our bags, we heard we had a positive COVID test. And then two hours later, we heard a negative COVID test,” Bradley coach Brian Wardle revealed after Bradley lost 73-63 to Southern Illinois.

Bradley’s false positive was a dodged bullet. Had Bradley’s test been confirmed, No. 7 seed Northern Iowa, the best seed playing on Thursday, would have received a bye, and SIU would have played No. 10 Illinois State.

The potential problems are even more heightened with double the amount of games scheduled for the MVC Tournament quarterfinals.

The MVC has made it clear that it will play as many games as it can … and it will re-arrange the bracket to do it if needed.

“Protecting higher (better) seeds and protecting the sanctity of the bracket are top priorities in the reseeding process,” said an MVC statement sent to the Tribune-Star.

This means, if there is a positive test involving one or more of the schools seeded higher than ISU in the bracket? Or, if No. 5 seed Evansville – ISU’s scheduled opponent at 3 p.m. on Friday had a positive test? ISU would be playing a different opponent.

Here are the scenarios for Friday as set forth by the MVC:

• If opponent for No. 1 seed is unavailable (8/9 game winner) – No. 1 seed advances to semis. Three games would be played (3 p.m. – 4/5 seed; 6 p.m. – 2/7-10 winner; 9 p.m. – 3/6 seed)

• If opponent for No. 2 seed is unavailable (7/10 game winner) – No. 1 seed advances to semis. Three  games would be played (3 p.m. — 4/5 seed; 6 p.m. — 2/8-9 game winner; 9 p.m. –3/6 seed).

• If No. 1 seed is unavailable, No. 2 seed advances to semis.  Reseed the bracket, games at 3, 6, 9 p.m.

• If No. 2 seed is unavailable, No. 1 seed advances to semis.  Reseed the bracket, games at 3, 6, 9 p.m.

• If No. 3 seed is unavailable, No. 1 seed advances to semis. No. 4 plays 8/9 winner at 3 p.m.; 2 plays 7/10 winner at 6 p.m.; No. 5/6 play at 9 p.m.

• If No. 4 or No. 5 seed is unavailable, No. 1 seed advances to semis. No. 8/9 winner plays the 4/5 seed at 3 p.m.; 2 plays 7/10 winner at 6 p.m.; No. 3/6 play at 9 p.m.

• If No. 6 seed is unavailable, No. 1 seed advances to semis. No. 4/5 game is at 3 p.m.; 2 plays 7/10 winner at 6 p.m.; No. 3 seed plays 8/9 winner at 9 p.m.

Teams will have to make their attestation filings by 10 a.m. local time.

The MVC was the only conference in the country to complete all of its regular season contests.

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Todd Aaron Golden has been Sports Editor and Indiana State beat writer since September 2004. Born in Milwaukee but an Indiana resident most of his adult life, he previously worked in Jeffersonville, Columbus and Eau Claire, Wis.