UConn Huskies' Geno Auriemma tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of NCAA women's basketball tournament

UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, but said in a video call on Monday that he is not experiencing any symptoms.

However, he is not expected to be able to coach in the first or potentially second rounds because of required quarantining. Associate head coach Chris Dailey will be acting head coach until he returns, Auriemma said.

The women's NCAA tournament bracket was announced Monday night. Top-ranked UConn earned one of four No. 1 seeds and will play No. 16 High Point on Sunday, when opening-round games tip off.

UConn said contact-tracing protocols showed Auriemma did not have close contact with any other team member since Friday, and other Tier I personnel have tested negative for COVID-19 since NCAA tournament testing began March 9.

Auriemma, who turns 67 on March 23, said he got the first dose of the vaccine a month ago, and the second dose last Wednesday. According to CDC guidelines, he remains nine days shy of becoming fully vaccinated.

"I'm extremely fortunate that I'm the only one affected by this," Auriemma said of it not impacting the players or other coaches. "I haven't done anything out of the ordinary than I've done at any other time this year. So I have no idea. Zero.

"They tell you [after the second shot], 'This is going to take a couple of weeks. Don't run around and think you're home safe.' These are meant to be protection, but nothing in life is 100 percent foolproof. I think if I hadn't gotten the vaccine, and then tested positive, I might be really, really, really sick right now. And I feel really, really good. So I'm glad I got the vaccine. If there was a third one, I would get the third oone. That's how convinced I am that it's helping me."

The Huskies are scheduled to leave for San Antonio on Tuesday morning. According to CDC and Connecticut Department of Public Health guidelines, Auriemma will remain in isolation for 10 days and can rejoin the team on March 24 -- meaning he will also miss the Huskies' second-round game on March 23 if they advance past No. 16 High Point.

Dailey has served as head coach in past situations in which Auriemma wasn't able to coach due to illness and surgery. She is 10-0 in those games. Dailey has been with Auriemma at UConn since they came to the program in 1985.

Auriemma said he will talk frequently with the staff and help with game preparations remotely.

"I just need them to win two games," Auriemma said, "so I can get down there and try to help out with any more games after that."

The Huskies (24-1) won the Big East regular-season and tournament championships.