ARIZONA STATE BASKETBALL

Reports: ASU basketball won’t play Baylor over COVID-19 concerns

Nov 23, 2020, 8:07 AM | Updated: 10:37 am
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)...
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The Arizona State Sun Devils men’s basketball team will not play the No. 2 Baylor Bears due to COVID-19 concerns, Stadium’s Jeff Goodman and The Athletic’s Doug Haller reported Sunday night.

Now, it appears the three remaining teams that expected to participate in the 2K Empire Classic Tournament will move forward and potentially invite a fourth team, CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein reports.

ASU’s second potential scheduled opponent, No. 3 Villanova, did not want to play the winner of an ASU-Baylor game due to COVID-19 concerns. Villanova planned to open the year against Boston College, where the winner would play the winner of the ASU-Baylor game. The losers of each game would then play one another.

Arizona State withdrew from the opener with worries after Baylor head coach Scott Drew tested positive for coronavirus and announced he would not coach in the tournament at Mohegan Sun Arena.

The Sun Devils expected to travel as scheduled to Connecticut, play-by-play man Tim Healey told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Monday.

Another game planned at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., could also provide opponents for ASU. Florida’s game against UMass-Lowell was canceled due to positive coronavirus tests for UF. That could line up ASU, Villanova or Boston College to play UMass-Lowell or Florida’s second scheduled opponent, the No. 4 Virginia Cavaliers.

The Sun Devils were originally scheduled to face Baylor at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday before facing either Boston College or Villanova on Thursday before returning to Tempe to face Houston Baptist at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

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