Just like in college football, college basketball games getting canceled has become a fairly commonplace event each week as coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the country and our inability to just chill out and not play any sports until it’s safe. But when a game between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the nation get canceled, that’s a pretty big deal that can have some far-reaching ramifications, or at the very least, reaffirms to everyone how impactful the current situation is.
Per ESPN, Saturday’s big game was canceled after two people in Gonzaga’s travel group, one of whom is a student-athlete and one of whom is not a student-athlete tested positive for coronavirus. According to ESPN, the student-athlete in question did not play in Gonzaga’s win over West Virginia on Wednesday.
The schools released a joint statement on the cancelation and both head coaches released a joint statement of their own.
Joint statement from Gonzaga and Baylor basketball programs. pic.twitter.com/m3DHN0ZrRB
— Gonzaga Basketball (@ZagMBB) December 5, 2020
— Scott Drew (@BUDREW) December 5, 2020
Following surveillance testing for COVID-19, one student-athlete and one non-student-athlete of the Gonzaga men’s basketball travel party produced positive results. The student-athlete did not play in Wednesday’s game against West Virginia. In consultation with the Indiana State Health Commissioner, the Marion County Public Health Director, and both team physicians, Gonzaga and Baylor have mutually agreed today’s game will not be played. Both teams have agreed to attempt to reschedule the game at a later date.
We’re disappointed to not be able to play one of the most-anticipated games of the season, but we are following the advice of public health officials. When we decided to play during a pandemic, our priorities were protecting the health and safety of student-athletes and following public health guidelines, and we’re proud of how both programs have held true to those promises. There are much greater issues in this world than not being able to play a basketball game, so we’re going to continue praying for everyone who has been affected by this pandemic.
Compared to the way coaches like Dabo Swinney have handled these situations, it’s comforting to know that some adults in the room are willing to recognize the severity of the issue at hand and be happy playing it safe.
Gonzaga had also kept two players out of its game against Auburn last weekend after one of them tested positive and the other was in close contact with that player. For Baylor’s, Scott Drew missed the team’s first two games after testing positive for Covid-19.
As noted in the statement, no word on any rescheduling, but we’re guessing that there are so many cancelations and postponements ahead of us this college basketball season that it’s going to be impossible to keep up with it all and find room for all these games, even if it was between the two best teams in the nation.