Tennessee-Memphis canceled due to COVID issues with Tigers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The men’s basketball game between No. 18 Tennessee and Memphis was canceled about an hour before tipoff Saturday due to COVID-19 issues within the Tigers’ program.

The Volunteers had warmed up and were ready to play when the game was called off at 9:54 a.m. with several hundred fans already in attendance. Tipoff had been scheduled for 11 a.m.

Memphis players did not enter the arena. It was not clear exactly how many players were in the COVID-19 protocols.

The game was to be played in Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, a midway point between the two programs’ campuses.

Tennessee Coach Rick Barnes decided to hold an intrasquad scrimmage for Vols fans in attendance. The pep band entered the floor and played “Rocky Top.”

Once the game was canceled, security didn’t let anyone else in the arena, upsetting some Vols fans who wanted to watch the scrimmage.

The program tweeted an apology, saying: “When this tweet was sent, we were of the belief fans could still access the arena. That was not the case + we apologize for the confusion. Like you, we’re disappointed in today’s outcome. Y’all showed up in force. We hate to have lost an opportunity to play in front of #VolNation.”

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