No. 11 Kansas was forced to withdraw from the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City, Mo., on Friday following a positive COVID-19 test.
Friday night’s semifinal between the second-seeded Jayhawks (20-8) and third-seeded Texas was canceled, with the No. 13 Longhorns (18-7) advancing to Saturday’s title game against Baylor or Oklahoma State.
“The cancellation follows a positive test, subsequent quarantining, and contact tracing within the Kansas men’s basketball program,” the Big 12 said in a statement.
Will Kansas Jayhawks Play In NCAA Tournament?
The Jayhawks’ status for next week’s NCAA Tournament is now unclear due to quarantine rules — jeopardizing the nation’s longest active streak of appearances. Kansas has appeared in each of the past 30 tourneys.
All Tier 1 participants on every team — players, coaches and members of the traveling party — must exhibit seven negative COVID-19 tests before arriving in Indianapolis for the NCAA Tournament.
Virginia and Duke are in a similar situation in the ACC after positive COVID-19 tests forced both schools to pull out of the conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C.
Head coach Bill Self said the Jayhawks will continue their preparations for the Big Dance.
“Obviously we are disappointed and our players are disappointed that they can’t continue to compete for the Big 12 championship,” Self said in a statement. “While we have been fortunate to avoid this throughout the season, there are daily risks with this virus that everybody participating is trying to avoid.
“We have followed the daily testing and additional protocols that have been setup for us, unfortunately we caught a bad break at the wrong time. I look forward to preparing my team in probably a unique way for next week’s NCAA Tournament.”
Two Kansas players, big men David McCormack and Tristan Enaruna, did not travel with the team to Kansas City due to COVID-19 protocols.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)