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UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma said the person with the program who tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday was not a player or a coach. His players are in quarantine for 14 days but the coaches are not in quarantine because they did not come into contact with the person who tested positive. Jessica Hill/Associated Press

STORRS, Conn. — UConn coach Geno Auriemma says he’s been trying to convince his team that despite having the start of its season postponed for an additional two weeks because of a positive coronavirus test, everything is going to be just fine.

“I’m sure there was a guy on the Titanic who was in charge of saying that,” Auriemma said Tuesday. “I just hope I’m not that guy.”

The Husky players are in quarantine for 14 days after someone in the program – not a player or a coach, according to Auriemma – tested positive on Monday for the novel coronavirus. The coaches are not isolating themselves because they did not have contact with the infected person, Auriemma said.

The positive test led to the third-ranked Huskies canceling their first four games and the subsequent cancellation of the entire Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge, the event that was to kick off their season on Saturday. That tournament was to feature UConn and No. 6 Mississippi State.

The Huskies have also lost games with in-state foe Quinnipiac, No. 5 Louisville, and the planned Big East opener against Seton Hall. Auriemma said he expects that only the Seton Hall game will be rescheduled.

The Huskies are now scheduled to open the season on Dec. 15 at home against Butler, a game that will mark UConn’s return to the Big East after seven years in the American Athletic Conference.

In the meantime, if no other coronavirus tests come back positive, UConn players can begin working out with their roommates in small “pods” on Saturday. Full practices are scheduled to resume on Dec. 8.

Team members will have two more coronavirus tests this week. Auriemma said the person who was found to have the virus is not symptomatic and it’s possible the result might have been a false positive. He said he doesn’t know if subsequent negative tests would allow UConn to get back to work sooner.

WISCONSIN: The school says its scheduled season opener Wednesday with Miami of Ohio has been postponed due to COVID-19 protocols regarding Miami’s program.

Wisconsin officials said the two schools are seeking a date to reschedule the game. Wisconsin is continuing to practice and is now preparing to open the season Sunday when it hosts Western Illinois.

FOOTBALL

MINNESOTA: The school is calling off its scheduled game Saturday at Wisconsin due to positive COVID-19 cases within its program, a move that likely knocks the 18th-ranked Badgers out of consideration for the Big Ten championship game.

The Minnesota-Wisconsin game won’t be rescheduled. Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle, president Joan Gabel and athletic medical director Brad Nelson opted against playing the game after consulting with Big Ten officials.

School officials didn’t say how many active cases they had.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: No. 19 Southern California has closed its training complex for the day after an unidentified player tested positive for COVID-19.

The unbeaten Trojans didn’t practice Tuesday and held their meetings virtually while awaiting test results for the rest of the program.

The positive player traveled with USC to Salt Lake City for its victory over Utah last weekend before testing positive Monday. The rest of the program tested negative Monday, and the Trojans are conducting contact tracing for the unidentified player, who is symptomatic and quarantined.

USC is 3-0 heading into its visit from Colorado (2-0) on Saturday at the Coliseum.

TUSLA: No. 24 Tulsa’s game Saturday at Houston has been postponed due to positive COVID-19 cases at Houston and the ensuing contact tracing of players.

The American Athletic Conference made the announcement Tuesday.

The league said the game may be rescheduled for Dec. 19, if neither team is a participant in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game. Tulsa is 5-0 in league play.

This is the fifth Tulsa game that has been shifted since the season started. Matchups against Oklahoma State, Arkansas State, Cincinnati, and Navy also have been moved at some point.

GAME CANCELED: The UAB-Southern Mississippi football game scheduled for Friday has been canceled because of COVID-19 issues within the Golden Eagles’ program.

The game was set to be the Blazers’ finale at Legion Field before moving to newly built Progressive Stadium. UAB says it will continue to work with Conference USA on the remaining regular-season schedule.

The Blazers have had three straight games canceled because of the virus. They haven’t played since a double-overtime loss to Louisiana Tech on Oct. 31.

Southern Miss cited positive coronavirus tests and subsequent contact tracing for the cancellation. The Golden Eagles’ next scheduled game is next Friday at UTEP. Southern Miss has previously had to postpone and reschedule games with Florida Atlantic and UTEP.

 

MEN’S BASKETBALL 

TENNESSEE: The Volunteers have extended their pause of team activities through Dec. 4 after receiving the results of COVID-19 testing.

The Vols paused activities Monday and ran more tests after announcing Coach Rick Barnes, 66, had tested positive. Tennessee later canceled its Volunteer Classic that had been scheduled to start Wednesday.

Now Tennessee has extended its pause on activities, and the Vols will not play No. 1 Gonzaga in Indianapolis next week as part of the Jimmy V Classic. School officials also announced Tennessee will not play at Notre Dame on Dec. 4. That was a game that had not been announced with the contract not finalized yet.

The Volunteers hope to return to practice Dec. 5 with their first game this season now Dec. 12 hosting Cincinnati.

Barnes remains in isolation at home. Tennessee says Barnes is experiencing “very mild symptoms.”

BAYLOR: No. 2 Baylor has pushed back the start of its men’s basketball season even further with the cancellation of Sunday’s game at Seton Hall.

Baylor said Tuesday that it was a mutual agreement between the schools to cancel the Big 12/Big East Battle matchup.

The Bears had originally been scheduled to start the season Wednesday night against No. 18 Arizona State, and then play No. 3 Villanova or Boston College on Thanksgiving Day in Connecticut.

Baylor didn’t make that trip after head coach Scott Drew revealed he had tested positive for COVID-19, though he was asymptomatic and no one else on the team tested positive last Friday or Sunday. Drew’s was the only positive team on the team in the past 12 weeks.

The next game on Baylor’s schedule is Dec. 2 against Illinois in Indianapolis, where they are also supposed to play No. 1 Gonzaga three days later.

ACC TOURNAMENT: The Atlantic Coast Conference is relocating its men’s basketball tournament in March to Greensboro, North Carolina.

The tournament was originally scheduled for Washington, but Tuesday’s announcement came due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The ACC said the nation’s capital will instead host the tournament in 2024.

Last season’s ACC Tournament was canceled after two days in Greensboro due to the pandemic. The league had previously announced the 2022 event would return to Brooklyn, New York, and Greensboro would also host in 2023 after the March cancellation.


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