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Arizona-NAU basketball game canceled due to COVID-19

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)

The Arizona Wildcats and Northern Arizona Lumberjacks have canceled Wednesday men’s basketball season opener due to a positive coronavirus test within NAU’s program, UA said in a statement.

“After consultation with the Pac-12 Conference, University of Arizona leadership, Northern Arizona University, and the Big Sky Conference, the Arizona men’s basketball game on Wednesday, Nov. 25 has been canceled due to a positive COVID-19 case within the NAU men’s basketball program as well as ensuing contact tracing and mitigation protocols,” Arizona’s statement read. “Both programs will work together to determine if a date to reschedule the game this season is possible.

“The news of this cancellation is very disappointing to student-athletes, coaches and fans. However, health and safety must remain our top priorities as we move forward this season.”

Arizona’s next scheduled game is against Grambling State on Friday at 3 p.m.

The news comes amid a rash of coronavirus cases postponing and cancelling games as college basketball opens this week.

Rival Arizona State, which was part of a four-team 2K Empire Classic field, has already lost its planned season opener against the No. 2 Baylor Bears. 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 Uncasville, Conn., tournament at Mohegan Sun Arena.

No. 3 Villanova and Boston College, the other two teams scheduled to play in the Empire Classic, are reportedly working with ASU attempting to salvage the tournament.

Other games in college basketball that have been impacted by coronavirus include Duke, which postponed a Wednesday game against Gardner-Webb.

Ole Miss canceled four games and suspended team activities until Dec. 7 because of positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing.

The school in Oxford, Miss., announced Monday that the Justin Reed Ole Miss Classic set for this week is canceled, along with the Dec. 5 game against Memphis.

The Rebels were scheduled to host Central Arkansas on Wednesday, Jackson State on Thursday and Arkansas State on Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.