UConn vs. Villanova Postponed Because of Wildcats' COVID-19 Outbreak

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2021

Villanova's Jay Wright coaches during an NCAA college basketball game against Butler, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, in Villanova, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The Big East Conference announced Friday the men's basketball game between Connecticut and Villanova scheduled for Jan. 15 has been postponed because of COVID-19 issues within the Wildcats' program.

No makeup date for the contest was immediately announced.

Villanova last played Dec. 23, a 85-68 victory over Marquette that improved its record to 8-1. The team's last six games have now been postponed.

The Wildcats formally entered a COVID-19 pause Jan. 4.

Head coach Jay Wright said Monday the team had seemingly turned a corner with nine straight days of negative coronavirus test results, but after they returned to practice, there were two new positive tests among the players.

"We're obviously going through a tough time right now in our program," Wright told reporters. "I was the first one [to test positive]—it had nothing to do with the players, it was me. It started with me."

The 59-year-old Pennsylvania native, who's in his 20th season leading the Villanova program, said he's fully recovered after testing positive in late December.

"I had 'em all. I'm good now," Wright said about his COVID-19 symptoms. "But it was like having a bad case of the flu. That's what it was for me. That's what it seemed like to me."

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He added the "biggest concern" right now is the players' mental health after a 10-day quarantine followed by another stoppage to basketball activities.

For now, the Wildcats' next game is scheduled for Jan. 19 against Seton Hall.