College basketball COVID updates: Tennessee’s Rick Barnes tests positive; Duke opener postponed

Tennessee men's basketball coach Rick Barnes is among multiple Volunteers who tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday and the Vols paused activity Monday, putting its first four games in jeopardy.

The No. 14 Vols are scheduled to open their season against Charlotte on Wednesday in The Volunteer Classic. Tennessee also is scheduled to play VCU on Friday.

A decision on both games is expected to be made by Tuesday, Tennessee announced.

The positive tests are among Tennessee's "Tier 1 personnel, which consists of coaches, student-athletes, team managers and support staff.” The tests were conducted Sunday and Tennessee is doing retesting Monday.

If the test results are confirmed positive, Tennessee's games next week are in jeopardy. The Vols are scheduled to face No. 1 Gonzaga on Dec. 2 and reportedly will play Notre Dame on Dec. 4.

Tennessee Head Coach Rick Barnes during a basketball game between the Tennessee Volunteers and the LSU Tigers at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn., on Saturday, January 4, 2020. (Photo: Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel )

Tennessee is the third SEC basketball program to pause in three days.

Ole Miss canceled its first four games on Nov. 23 because of a COVID-19 outbreak and will not resume team activity team until Dec. 7. Rebels coach Kermit Davis tested positive on Nov. 17.

Florida on Nov. 22 pulled out of the Bubbleville tournament at Mohegan Sun and Casino due to issues related to a positive COVID-19 test and subsequent quarantine of UF players. The Gators paused team activity for a week.

— Mike Wilson, Knoxville News Sentinel

Duke's season-opener postponed

The Duke men's basketball team's season-opener against Gardner-Webb has been postponed after a positive COVID-19 test within the Gardner-Webb program, according to a release from Duke.

The determination was made Monday morning after consultation with Duke Athletics’ medical personnel. The teams may look to make up the game at a later date should schedules permit, according to the release.

The No. 8 Blue Devils’ next scheduled contest is Saturday, November 28, versus Coppin State at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Tip time is set for 2 p.m. ET on ACC Network Extra.

— David Thompson, Asheville Citizen Times

Duke forward Wendell Moore Jr. (0) looks to pass against North Carolina during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, March 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome) (Photo: Gerry Broome, AP)

First 4 Ole Miss games canceled

The Justin Reed Classic at Ole Miss this week has been canceled.

Ole Miss was scheduled to host a three-game competition between the Rebels, Jackson State, Arkansas State and Central Arkansas from Wednesday to Friday. But the tournament is now off because of a number of positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing within the program.

Ole Miss' home game against Memphis on Dec. 5 has also been canceled. The Rebels will not resume team activity until Dec. 7.

Ole Miss head coach Kermit Davis tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Had the Justin Reed Classic remained on schedule, he would not have been able to coach the first two games of the event.

An Ole Miss spokesperson confirmed the games have not been canceled solely because of Davis' positive but because of a number of cases in the program and the contact tracing isolation that followed.

No further details about coaches or players who have tested positive have been released.

After these cancellations, Ole Miss' first game of the 2020-21 season will now be on Dec. 12 against UNC-Wilmington. Jackson State will now open its season at 6 p.m. on Dec. 2 at North Alabama.

— Nick Suss, Mississippi Clarion Ledger

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