Villanova is pausing its basketball activities following an outbreak of COVID-19 within the program, the team announced Sunday.
Head coach Jay Wright is among those confirmed to have tested positive for the coronavirus and addressed the situation:
"Our players have been very diligent and disciplined with all of the COVID protocols. Unfortunately, we have had two staff members test positive. I am one of them. My symptoms are mild, and we remain connected as a team and staff by phone and Zoom. I am grateful to our team physician, Dr. Mike Duncan, who has worked tirelessly to help guide us safely through this."
The Big East has postponed the No. 5 Wildcats' January 2 matchup with No. 22 Xavier. No makeup date has been announced.
It's the second consecutive game Villanova has postponed after both the Wildcats and St. John's agreed to push back their conference meeting scheduled for December 30.
"We just thought our players needed a break," Wright said of the St. John's game. "Their well-being is our top priority. We appreciate that St. John's is in agreement with us on this in wanting the same for their players."
Nova has now had five games postponed this season. The length of the program's layoff is to be determined as well.
The Wildcats last played December 23 in an 85-68 victory over Marquette to extend their winning streak to six games. Villanova remains atop the Big East standings with a half-game lead over No. 13 Creighton and Seton Hall.
If there are no further cancellations, the program could return for a January 5 contest against DePaul—which was previously postponed December 14.