The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team will pause all men’s basketball activities after Saturday’s opponent, Buffalo, had a positive test for COVID-19 on Sunday. Those activities include — at the very least — Tuesday night’s scheduled game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The program is conducting additional contact tracing now.
For Syracuse, this is the third COVID-related disruption already during the young season. Back in November, Jim Boeheim tested positive and that led to a pause in team activities before returning to the court after one day of practice for the opener vs. Bryant. Buddy Boeheim missed a few games due to contact tracing protocols shortly after that. And now UB’s positive test will lead to another break that will go on for a yet-to-be-determined amount of time.
One would’ve thought after college football experienced numerous problems holding a full and cohesive season that college basketball — with months more to prepare and fewer players to account for on a per-team basis — would’ve opted for a different approach beyond traveling for a similar amount of games as a normal year, but in a shorter amount of time. Unfortunately that hasn’t been the case, and the result’s been a slew of high-profile cancellations and stoppages. Syracuse isn’t unique in this regard, and given the rising rates of infection around the country right now, it’s not necessarily surprising to see college hoops affected as much as it has been.
The most important thing right now is that everyone stays safe, and those testing positive — both in this college basketball-related situation and around the world — fully recover. I think it’s worth considering a full pause for at least a month here as the powers-that-be in the sport work to create intraconference bubble environments that allow for something resembling a full season. But that seems unlikely at this time, barring an uptick in game cancellations.
We’ll have more here as more information becomes available.
Slight Update (Dec. 22): According to Jim Boeheim, seems like the Wake Forest and North Carolina games could also get postponed...