COVID-19 forces postponement of three BYU basketball games

Both men’s and women’s teams saw delays to their conference openers this week.

(Michael Thomas | AP) BYU forward Lauren Gustin (12) shoots over Arizona forward Sam Thomas, left, during the first half of a college basketball game in the second round of the NCAA women's tournament at the UTSA Convocation Center in San Antonio, Wednesday, March 24, 2021.

The omicron variant of the coronavirus has been affecting sports for the last several weeks, leading recently to some postponed games. This week, it reached BYU’s schedule.

The women’s basketball team’s games scheduled for Thursday and Saturday have been postponed due to COVID-19 cases within San Diego and Portland’s programs, respectively. The Cougars and the West Coast Conference will attempt to reschedule the games for later this season.

The BYU men’s basketball team will also have to delay the start of conference play.

The Cougars’ game against Portland was also postponed due to COVID-19 cases within the Portland program. The game will be rescheduled for a later date, the University of Portland announced Wednesday.

“We’re back to real-time decisions,” coach Mark Pope said Monday. “Everything could change in the next 20 minutes. ... We’re kind of back to that dynamic at least for the immediate future.”

The women’s game against San Diego would have marked the start of conference play for the No. 18 Cougars, who currently sit with a 10-1 record.

BYU’s women’s team has already had some trouble with the coronavirus earlier this season. Coach Jeff Judkins tested positive last month and missed a road trip to Florida as a result.

Judkins’ team is scheduled to play Portland at the Marriott Center on Saturday at 2 p.m.