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Arizona women’s basketball game against Texas canceled due to COVID-19 protocols within the Wildcats’ program

Arizona v Stanford Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Pac-12 Coast-to-Coast Challenge between No. 4 Arizona and No. 11 Texas was supposed to be one of three women’s basketball games between top 15 teams on Sunday. Now, there will be only two. Arizona announced on Saturday evening that the game had been canceled due to COVID-19 protocols and contact tracing in the Wildcats’ program.

It was to be a marquee game for Arizona. The Wildcats hoped to make it their second win against a Top 11 team this season. After years of playing underwhelming out-of-conference schedules, head coach Adia Barnes had upgraded the nonconference slate this season.

“These are the games we wait for,” Barnes said after the Wildcats defeated NAU on Friday. “And this is what I think defines you and it also exploits your weaknesses. So I’m excited. And we’re playing it on neutral grounds, which makes it even harder. And I’m excited to see where we’re at and how we’re going to respond right before Christmas, which is also another hard time to play.”

With this game canceled, Arizona is not scheduled to play again until Pac-12 games start on New Year’s Eve. The Wildcats are scheduled to travel to L.A. to play USC and UCLA during the first weekend of conference play. That gives the team 13 days to emerge from COVID-19 protocols before they are due to face the Women of Troy.

The Pac-12 said that it would work with Texas to find a “suitable replacement” for the missed game. The Longhorns are supposed to play in McKale Center next season to complete the home-and-home contract the two programs agreed on. Arizona visited Austin in 2019.