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Arizona’s Pac-12 opener vs. Colorado postponed due to Buffaloes pausing basketball activities

arizona-wildcats-colorado-buffaloes-covid19-postponed-pac12-basketball-2020-dshawn-schwartz Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Pac-12 season won’t be starting this week for the Arizona Wildcats.

Colorado announced Tuesday morning it had paused its men’s basketball program due to COVID-19 issues, and in the process postponed Wednesday’s game at McKale Center.

“We have temporarily paused our men’s basketball operations due to positive cases of COVID-19 within the program,” Colorado athletic director Rick George said in a statement. “This includes the postponement of Wednesday’s game at Arizona. The status of other upcoming games is dependent upon contact tracing and subsequent testing of team members and basketball staff this week.”

The Buffaloes were already expected to be without three players for Wednesday’s Pac-12 opener after shooting guard D’Shawn Schwartz tested positive for COVID-19 while two other players—Keeshawn Barthelemy and Tristan da Silva—were being held out as part of contract tracing protocol, but it appears their issues are worse than that.

Per the Pac-12, Colorado asked for the postponement of the Arizona game because it “does not have the minimum number of scholarship student-athletes available for the game due to previously reported COVID-19 issues within the program and associated contact tracing protocols.” Pac-12 teams are required to have at least seven available scholarship athletes for basketball games, part of an updated list of testing protocols the Pac-12 announced Tuesday along with policies for canceling conference games.

This marks the third game UA has had canceled or postponed due to COVID issues. Its 2020-21 season opener against NAU was postponed—though it has been rescheduled for Monday—while a scheduled Nov. 28 home against UTEP was also nixed.

Arizona’s next scheduled game is Saturday against Northern Colorado at McKale.