Growing coronavirus concerns hit college basketball on Thursday, as officials canceled two Men’s Top 25 games this weekend.
The Ohio State No.15 vs Kentucky No.21 game in the CBS Sports Classic in Las Vegas has been called off due to positive COVID-19 results in the Buckeyes program. Kentucky said the Wildcats still need to travel to Las Vegas to find a possible replacement game and are working with Classic officials to fill the void.
The UCLA No.4 is set to face North Carolina in the same tournament on Saturday, although the Bruins had to cancel Wednesday’s home game against Alabama State due to COVID-19 protocols.
Bruins athletic director Martin Jarmond tweeted Thursday that the school “has no update yet” on the status of the Tar Heels showdown. North Carolina spokesman Steve Kirschner said the team are planning to travel to Las Vegas “with the firm intention of playing at UCLA.”
On the East Coast, No.16 Seton Hall canceled Saturday’s game against Iona in the Gotham Classic game at Madison Square Garden in New York City due to COVID-19 issues within the Pirates program. The Big East School said the status of future games will be determined later.
The pandemic severely disrupted college sports in 2020, although this year’s football season has largely passed without widespread programming issues. The basketball season that started in early November has now seen the number of postponements or outright cancellations increase over the past two weeks, with Tulane slowing her schedule all week.
A men’s game at Northwestern on Saturday was called off due to positive COVID-19 results in the DePaul program. Duke, second in the standings, has scheduled a Saturday game with Loyola Maryland to replace a canceled clash with Cleveland State. The Vikings have suspended the team from activities and also called off a Tuesday game at Kent State due to positive tests.
On the women’s side, Kentucky’s No.19 out-of-conference game against Morgan State on Friday night was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns in the Bears’ schedule. The school said in a statement that a makeup date was possible but was not scheduled. The Wildcats (6-3) will host USC Upstate on Sunday.
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