Kentucky and Texas have had their schedules altered by COVID-19 issues just as both teams also rose in the rankings.
This week’s men’s basketball showdown between the No. 20 Wildcats and archrival Louisville in Lexington has been postponed because of multiple positive COVID-19 tests within the Cardinals’ program.
Louisville interim athletic director Josh Heird stated in a release that team-related activities have been paused indefinitely.
The Bluegrass rivalry matchup that was scheduled for Wednesday between the school located 80 miles apart has been played annually since the 1982-83 season. A release from Kentucky on Monday morning stated that the athletics department is seeking a replacement game for the Wildcats (8-2) for either Wednesday or Thursday at Rupp Arena.
Kentucky is coming off Saturday’s 98-69 rout of North Carolina in the CBS Sports Classic in Las Vegas, a matchup rescheduled after both schools’ opponents pulled out following COVID-19 issues. That game helped the Wildcats move up a spot in this week’s poll. Louisville lost 82-72 on Saturday at in-state rival Western Kentucky without senior center Malik Williams, who was reportedly out because of COVID-19 protocols.
Texas, which rose a spot to No. 16 in the rankings on Monday, is also open on Wednesday after its scheduled in-state meeting against Rice was postponed due to COVID-19 issues within the Owls program. Rice is scheduled to play North Texas on Jan. 1 in its Conference USA opener.
Elsewhere, Rutgers will reschedule Thursday’s game against Central Connecticut to a later date due to COVID-19 protocols and out of an abundance of caution. The Big Ten school’s game against Rider that was postponed on Saturday has been canceled.
Evansville paused mens basketball team activities on Friday that forced the postponement of Saturdays home game against Tennessee-Martin. Athletic department officials announced the Purple Aces (4-8, 0-1 Missouri Valley Conference) would not travel to Dallas for Tuesdays game against SMU because of COVID-19 developments.
No makeup dates have been announced though a release stated that it was following league and NCAA protocols. Evansville’s next scheduled game is Jan. 2 at Northern Iowa.
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