No. 1 Gonzaga vs No. 2 Baylor called off over virus tests

Full Screen
1 / 4

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

West Virginia and Gonzaga play during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020, in Indianapolis. Gonzaga was scheduled to play Baylor but the game was cancelled due to COVID. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS – Coaches Mark Few of Gonzaga and Scott Drew of Baylor scheduled Saturday's game for all the right seasons.

They wanted their teams to have another early-season test and play in front of a national TV audience. The game on CBS between the nation's top two college basketball teams figured to draw excellent ratings.

For now, No. 1 vs. No. 2 is off.

Less than 90 minutes before tip-off, the teams announced the postponement because of two positive COVID-19 tests in the top-ranked Bulldogs program. In a joint statement, the schools said one player and one nonplayer in the Gonzaga travel party tested positive. The unidentified player didn't play Wednesday against No. 11 West Virginia.

“We’re disappointed to not be able to play one of the most anticipated games of the season, but we are following the advice of public health officials,” the coaches said. “When we decided to play during a pandemic, our priorities were protecting the health and safety of student-athletes and following public health guidelines, and we’re proud of how both programs have held true to those promises.

“There are much greater issues in this world than not being able to play a basketball game, so we’re going to continue praying for everyone who has been affected by this pandemic.”

Before heading back to Waco, Texas, Drew told reporters on a Zoom call both programs wanted to play but it was determined they couldn’t do it safely after consulting with the Indiana State Health Commissioner, the Marion County Public Health Director and both team physicians.

The coaches hope to reschedule the game for later this season. Drew said they're already discussing possible make-up dates and potential sites though the more immediate priority was getting home and completing finals.