This weekend’s UNC-UCLA game has been canceled. The two power programs were set to play on Saturday, out in Las Vegas, for the CBS Sports Classic; however, due to COVID-19 developments within the UCLA program, the Bruins have been forced to eject.
The game won’t be rescheduled, but North Carolina has pivoted, quickly.
— UCLA Men’s Basketball (@UCLAMBB) December 17, 2021
This would’ve been an explosive matchup. UCLA (8-1) ranks top 15 nationally in both offensive and defensive efficiency. The Tar Heels rank 13th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency.
With North Carolina out in Vegas, though, the Tar Heels will now play No. 21 Kentucky.
Sounding as if the time for tomorrow’s Kentucky-North Carolina game in Las Vegas will be at 5:30 pm ET. https://t.co/y9AXusoH4U
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) December 17, 2021
On Thursday this week, the Kentucky-Ohio State game, which was also scheduled for Vegas, as the other half of the CBS Sports Classic, was canceled due to COVID-19 issues with Ohio State.
As COVID-19 cases surge across the nation — fueled by the Omicron variant — moments like this are all too familiar. The 2019-20 season ended with no NCAA Tournament, as the spookiness of March 2020 set in. The 2020-21 college basketball season was littered with postponements and cancellations, too.
Several professional sports leagues, like the NBA and the NHL, are dealing with COVID outbreaks on several teams. With dozens of players entering the league’s health and safety protocols this week, The NBA and Players Association agreed to more stringent COVID-19 protocols throughout the holiday season.
Obviously, these concerns are being felt across the college sports landscape, too. It’s hard to imagine things getting better before they get worse, unfortunately. The next few weeks could be tricky.
A reminder: COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Please go get your shots and get boosted.