The game between Michigan State and Michigan on Saturday has been cancelled due to COVID-19 regulations inside the Wolverines’ program, the schools announced less than 8 hours before tipoff.
The rivalry has been postponed for the first time in the two seasons that have been affected by the coronavirus. The game was supposed to start at 2:30 p.m. on Fox at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, but the college’s podcast “Titus & Tate” informed early Saturday morning that it had been cancelled “due to complications relating to COVID-19.”
According to a statement released by Michigan, the squad “fell below the Big Ten Conference roster minimum, with fewer than seven scholarship players available.” following testing on Friday night. According to press statements from both institutions, the programmes will work with the Big Ten Conference to have the game rescheduled.
The Spartans will play Minnesota at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday. The Wolverines will play No. 3 Purdue at 9:00 p.m. Tuesday.
MSU coach Tom Izzo stated Thursday afternoon that he had not heard from Juwan Howard or anybody at U-M about the possibility of the game being cancelled. When the Spartans arrived in Ann Arbor on Friday night, they had a shooting practice at Crisler.
“Supposedly the Big Ten rule is if you have seven scholarship players and you got a coach. … But there is a little caveat on the bottom of that rule that there’s always an open door to it,” Izzo said Thursday. “I have no idea. I mean, I think Michigan wants to play the game as bad as we want to play the game. If they don’t have enough players and they postpone the game, they postpone the game. I have heard nothing on that.
“I would think that the guys that were out the last game with the new rules if they’re vaccinated — you know, I don’t know that, either. I don’t think any of us know anything about anybody. I got enough problems with my own team. We’re gonna schedule to play the game. If that happens, it’ll be great. And if it doesn’t happen, it’ll be postponed.”
MSU, leading the Big Ten with a 4-0 record and is 13-2, has won 8 consecutive games.
Michigan has lost three of its previous four games, but their game against Purdue Fort Wayne on December 21 has been cancelled. U-M fell to Rutgers 75-67 on Tuesday despite missing 4 players and a staff member due to “medical reasons.” According to the Big Ten Network, Jarron Faulds, Terrance Williams II, Frankie Collins, and Brandon Johns Jr. were all absent, as was guard Zeb Jackson and video analyst Jaaron Simmons did not go due to personal concerns.