Tennessee-Memphis canceled due to COVID issues with Tigers

Dec 17, 2021, 7:29 PM | Updated: Dec 18, 2021, 4:42 pm
Alabamas head coach Nate Oats signals to team in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game...

Alabamas head coach Nate Oats signals to team in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Memphis Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)

(AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The men’s basketball game between No. 18 Tennessee and Memphis was canceled about an hour before tipoff Saturday due to COVID-19 issues within the Tigers’ program.

The Volunteers had warmed up and were ready to play when the game was called off at 9:54 a.m. with several hundred fans already in attendance. Tipoff had been scheduled for 11 a.m.

Memphis players did not enter the arena. It was not clear exactly how many players were in the COVID-19 protocols.

The game was to be played in Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, a midway point between the two programs’ campuses.

Tennessee Coach Rick Barnes decided to hold an intrasquad scrimmage for Vols fans in attendance. The pep band entered the floor and played “Rocky Top.”

Once the game was canceled, security didn’t let anyone else in the arena, upsetting some Vols fans who wanted to watch the scrimmage.

The program tweeted an apology, saying: “When this tweet was sent, we were of the belief fans could still access the arena. That was not the case + we apologize for the confusion. Like you, we’re disappointed in today’s outcome. Y’all showed up in force. We hate to have lost an opportunity to play in front of #VolNation.”

Meanwhile, No. 6 Alabama announced it will play Davidson College on Tuesday night at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.

The matchup was set after No. 23 Colorado State had to pull out of the game with the Crimson Tide and Loyola College couldn’t play Davidson on Wednesday night, both because of COVID-19 issues.

The No. 4 Arizona women’s game against No. 11 Texas on Sunday in Las Vegas also was canceled due to COVID-19 protocols and contact tracing within the Wildcats’ program.

The Coast-to-Coast Challenge is working with Texas to find a suitable replacement opponent.

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Tennessee-Memphis canceled due to COVID issues with Tigers