Saturday's highly anticipated showdown between No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 Baylor has been called off for now amid COVID-19 concerns. News that the game would not be played came down roughly an hour and a half before the scheduled 1 p.m. ET tipoff between college basketball's top two teams at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
A Gonzaga player and another member of its traveling party tested positive for COVID-19 forcing the game to be called off, according to the schools.
"Following surveillance testing for COVID-19, one student-athlete and one non-student-athlete of the Gonzaga men's basketball travel party tested positive," statements from both schools said. "The student-athlete did not play in Wednesday's game against West Virginia. After thoughtful consultation with the Marion County Public Health Director, the Indiana State Health Commissioner, and both team physicians, Gonzaga and Baylor have mutually agreed today's game will not be played. Both teams have agreed to attempt to reschedule the game at a later date."
The game between the top-ranked Bulldogs and the No. 2 Bears was expected to be one of the best games of the 2020-21 season. It was to be only the 43rd time the No. 1 vs. No. 2 teams in the AP Top 25 poll played each other and just the third time the No. 1 team in the AP Top 25 and the No. 1 team in the Coaches Poll (which has Baylor ranked in the top spot) have played each other.
Baylor coach Scott Drew and Gonzaga coach Mark Few were disappointed to not be playing and said on CBS they'll work to try and reschedule the game at a later date.
"We'll find a way to play it at some point." Few said. "We'll make it happen."
"Our guys came back to college for these reasons, to play games like this," Drew said. "They trust us that we'll find ways to get quality games that excite them-like this-and excite the nation. ... Coach Few and I have the same philosophy ... we're going to find a way to make that happen."