Florida-Mississippi basketball game postponed due to COVID issues

Graham Hall
UF basketball writer
Florida coach Mike White, giving a thumbs up during last week's win over Stony Brook in Gainesville, told his players to be smart during the Christmas break.

The Florida-Mississippi men's basketball game, scheduled for Wednesday night in Oxford, has been postponed due to COVID issues within the UF basketball program.

The decision not to play is consistent with Southeastern Conference COVID-19 management requirements. A make-up date has not been determined at this time.

The SEC last week announced updated interrupted basketball game policies, which state, "If a contest is postponed, efforts will be made to reschedule the game. If a contest cannot be rescheduled, the Commissioner shall cancel the contest and it will be recorded as a no contest."

The Gators are following numerous other college basketball teams around the nation who have had games canceled or postponed this season due to COVID issues.

Florida State's game at Boston College, also set for Wednesday, previously had been postponed because of COVID issues within the BC program. The Seminoles already had lost games against UCF (canceled) and North Florida (postponed) due to issues within their program.

Florida A&M's game Wednesday at Illinois was canceled due to positive COVID-19 results within the Illini program. The game will not be rescheduled.

Games are being postponed or canceled seemingly by the minute. Schedulers are scrambling to find replacements. Dozens of teams have gone on COVID-19 pause.

The Atlantic Coast Conference scrapped three games, including two with No. 2 Duke. The Big East ditched four games, including No. 23 Xavier against UConn, and four more on the women’s side. The No. 2 Stanford and No. 4 Arizona women also had games postponed this week due to COVID-19 protocols.

And those were just the changes announced on Monday.

Some teams have been able to find quick replacements, like No. 6 Kansas, which swapped out for Nevada Wednesday night after Harvard was hit with COVID-19 protocols.

Other teams have not, extending their Christmas breaks.

After the 25-point win over Stony Brook last week, White addressed the impending break and its possible impact on the roster when it came to the possibility of further players entering the protocol.

“We’ve had staff conversations about presenting the (COVID-19 vaccine) booster opportunity. That’s where we’re at right now,” White said. “Past that, the diligence, the focus, the discipline — I mean, it’s gotta be guy-to-guy. The guys have got to do their best to give themselves an opportunity as they leave campus.

"But it’s really not a huge difference when they’re on campus. Our guys are gonna continue to be around other people, and they’ve just got to be smart with their decisions. Everybody does. These guys have a chance to play an SEC schedule. How many of those 18 we’ll play, we’ll see. Hopefully all of them, of course. It’s crazy times.”

Information from the Associated Press was included in this report.