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Arizona men’s basketball’s Pac-12 opener vs. Washington canceled due to COVID-19 issues

This stinks

arizona-wildcats-mens-basketball-washington-huskies-covid-canceled-pac12-forfeit-tommy-lloyd-mckale Jacob Snow-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats will have to wait a few extra days to begin Pac-12 play, as Thursday’s conference opener against the Washington Huskies at McKale Center has been canceled due to COVID-19 protocols within the Washington program.

If the game cannot be rescheduled, per Pac-12 policy on COVID-related cancellations the game would be deemed a forfeit and Arizona would get credit for a victory.

A handful of men’s college basketball games had previous been canceled this season due to COVID, but none involving Pac-12 teams. Arizona had several canceled, postponed or rescheduled in 2020-21 because of issues involving its opponent. UA coach Tommy Lloyd has previously said Arizona’s entire roster, coaching staff and support staff are vaccinated.

No. 11 Arizona (6-0) will next play Sunday at Oregon State, the first of four true road games for the Wildcats in December. In fact, six of the Wildcats’ next nine games will be on the road, including a 4-game stretch from Dec. 22-Jan. 8 that will see them play at Tennessee, UCLA, USC and ASU.

“I’m just looking at our month of December and it’s tough,” Lloyd said Wednesday. “You got a Wyoming team coming in that’s undefeated. An Illinois team I watched a couple nights go on TV that looked really good. You’ve got Northern Colorado and Cal Baptist teams that are off to good starts, then ... we’re at Tennessee, right? And then your first two conference games are at UCLA and SC. That’s a lot. We’re going to try to approach it day by day, week by week and do the best we can coming out on the right side of those games, but it’s a daunting schedule. It’s going to be experiences this team needs. This team’s gonna need those experiences because they’re going to serve them wellas you get into your January, February and hopefully your March to the postseason.”

Both Arizona men’s and women’s basketball teams have had games canceled because of COVID, with the women’s Friday game at UC-Riverside called off last week due to Riverside’s COVID issues.