Kansas has withdrawn from the Big 12 men’s basketball tournament following a positive COVID-19 test, the school announced Friday.
The Jayhawks were scheduled to face Texas in the Big 12 semifinals Friday; the Longhorns will advance to the championship game to play the winner of Baylor-Oklahoma State.
Kansas big men David McCormack and Tristan Enaruna missed the Big 12 tournament because of COVID-19 protocols, although coach Bill Self didn’t specify whether either player tested positive for the virus or was out due to contact tracing. Neither player traveled with the team to Kansas City, Missouri.
Kansas will remain in Kansas City and continue to be tested daily in accordance with NCAA tournament protocols.
“Obviously we are disappointed and our players are disappointed that they can’t continue to compete for the Big 12 championship,” Self said. “While we have been fortunate to avoid this throughout the season, there are daily risks with this virus that everybody participating is trying to avoid. We have followed the daily testing and additional protocols that have been set up for us, unfortunately we caught a bad break at the wrong time. I look forward to preparing my team in probably a unique way for next week’s NCAA Tournament.”
Kansas is the fourth team in the last two days to withdraw from a conference tournament because of COVID-19 issues, following Duke and Virginia in the ACC and No. 1 seed North Carolina A&T in the MEAC.
Virginia and Kansas could still play in the NCAA tournament, despite needing to show seven consecutive days of negative tests. Dan Gavitt, NCAA senior vice president of men’s basketball, has said that a team just needs five healthy players to play in an NCAA tournament game. If neither the Cavaliers nor Jayhawks have a widespread COVID-19 outbreak and the rest of the team continues to test negative, both teams could be eligible to play in the NCAA tournament.
Saturday is the deadline for any team believing that it cannot meet the medical protocols to inform the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee.
Virginia coach Tony Bennett said earlier Friday that the Cavaliers are “exhausting all options to participate in the NCAA Tournament.”