January 5, 2021
Baylor-UConn game canceled
Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey tests positive for the coronavirus, team activities restricted
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Thursday’s anticipated matchup between No. 3 UConn and No. 6 Baylor has been canceled after Lady Bears head coach Kim Mulkey tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a release from the university.
Baylor is currently restricting team activity, and Mulkey will isolate for 10 days and if she is asymptomatic, will return to team activities Jan. 15.
Mulkey was expected to return to the sideline after missing the previous week of action since she had been quarantining after a relative tested positive for the coronavirus on Christmas. While she received three negative tests, once returning to team activities on Monday she produced a positive test.
“I tested positive yesterday (Jan. 4) and will now isolate. If I have no symptoms, I will re-join the program on January 15,” Mulkey said in a press release. “While I am disappointed and hate to be away from the program, Baylor women’s basketball is in good hands with our coaches and support staff. The safety of our student-athletes is paramount and will take precedent over any basketball activity during this pandemic.”
Baylor’s game against Kansas State on Jan. 10 has also been canceled due to COVID issues within both programs.
The game, which was slated for primetime on ESPN, is a budding rivalry between two of college basketball’s most dominant forces. Baylor, who is led by a dominant tandem of forward NaLyssa Smith and guard DiDi Richards, has won ten straight Big 12 titles under Mulkey’s leadership and is the defending national champion.
UConn, meanwhile, is led by freshman phenom Paige Bueckers, junior forward Olivia Nelson-Ododa, and junior guard Christyn Williams. With multiple top-10 teams UConn scheduled forced to cancel, Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma said there’s simply no way to determine, come March, who should be in the tournament, let alone who will be able to get there.
“They’re not. They’re not going to be able to figure it out,” Auriemma told reporters Wednesday. He added that he expects the NCAA will simply “round up the usual suspects,” a nod to the movie Casablanca.
The two squads have faced off eight times since 2010, with the series tied at four games apiece.