After facing Alabama on Tuesday, the Kentucky Wildcats were set to take on their second top 10 team in a row on Saturday during the SEC/Big12 Challenge. The No. 5 Texas Longhorns were all set to head to Lexington this weekend, but the game has been canceled due to COVID-19 issues within UK’s program, the school announced Friday.
The UK program has been put on a 48-hour pause due to a combination of positive testing, contact tracing and subsequent quarantining of individuals within the program. The decision is consistent with SEC COVID-19 and UK Athletics COVID-19 management requirements. UK ticket holders will receive further communication via email on this game, including if additional changes are made to the schedule throughout the season.
This is the first cancellation of the season for Kentucky. UK’s previously scheduled games vs. Detroit Mercy and South Carolina were postponed due to COVID-19 safety protocols within those programs. Make-up dates for those games have not been determined.
Texas has also been fighting to keep playing amid positive cases within the program. Coach Shaka Smart revealed on Monday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus and would be spending some time in quarantine. Assistant KT Turner has been acting as head coach during his absence.
That came just over a week after forward Brock Cunningham had a positive test and two other players, Greg Brown and Kai Jones, went into quarantine due to contact tracing.
Texas is currently ranked as the No. 5 team in the country. They have a record of 11-3 with their only losses coming to ranked Oklahoma, Villanova and Texas Tech teams. This was set to be a tall task for Kentucky, but also a great opportunity for a quality win at home.
For now, the Wildcats will focus on Tuesday’s game at No. 12 Missouri.