Pac-12 postpones Arizona-Colorado men’s basketball game due to COVID-19, outlines testing protocols

The men's basketball game between Arizona and Colorado slated for Wednesday has been postponed due to COVID-19 related issues, the Pac-12 Conference announced Tuesday. 

Colorado announced a pause to its men's basketball activity, without the minimum of seven scholarship players available to compete – a mandate for Pac-12 protocol. Colorado was looking to play through its COVID issues, playing without three players in a win at Kansas State last week. 

"As we have since the pandemic began, we will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our student-athletes, staff, campus and community as we navigate this season," Colorado athletics director Rick George said. "We will continue daily testing of our student-athletes to ensure positive cases are identified early and isolated quickly, in addition to adhering to guidance from state, local and campus public health officials."

"This decision was made under the Pac-12’s basketball policy. Colorado does not have the minimum number of scholarship student-athletes available for the game due to previously reported COVID-19 issues within the program and associated contact tracing protocols," the Pac-12 Conference said in a statement. "The Conference will work with both programs to attempt to find a mutually agreeable date to reschedule the contest."

Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller watches his team during a game against Grambling State last month in Tucson. (Photo: Joe Camporeale, USA TODAY Sports)

The postponement marks Arizona's third in its first four scheduled games for the 2020-21 season. The Wildcats are already set to face the Buffaloes on Feb. 6 in Boulder, Colorado. 

The Pac-12 on Tuesday also released additional details on how it plans to handle testing protocols and game cancellations this basketball season.

In addition to one team not having the minimum of seven scholarship players and one coach available to participate, games may also be canceled or postponed if a team or athletic department is unable to isolate new positive cases or quarantine high-risk contacts.

In terms of testing, players will receive antigen tests "on each day of full practice, higher-risk of transmission activity, travel, and games." Antigen tests for coaches will be conducted twice per week.

Players will also receive weekly PCR testing, and game-day rapid result PCR testing in the event of a positive antigen test.

Non-conference teams playing Pac-12 schools must have a minimum of four tests the week leading up to competition, including on game day.

Follow Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottM_Gleeson and Steve Gardner @SteveAGardner

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