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Texas-Kentucky now off due to Wildcats’ pausing their program for COVID-19

High-profile matchup was part of the annual Big 12/SEC Challenge

The Kentucky basketball team is dealing with COVID-19 issues and has stopped all basketball activities. The Wildcats were scheduled to host fifth-ranked Texas on Saturday; the game won't be rescheduled.

Texas’ weekend trip to Big Blue Nation is now off. 

Kentucky announced Friday that all men’s basketball activities will be paused for 48 hours. The SEC school announced it is dealing with “a combination of positive testing, contact tracing and subsequent quarantining of individuals within the program” for COVID-19. 

Thus, Saturday’s game between No. 5 Texas and Kentucky has been canceled and will not be rescheduled. The game was part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

“The decision is consistent with Southeastern Conference COVID-19 and UK Athletics COVID-19 management requirements,” Kentucky officials said in a statement.

The Longhorns were not likely to be at full strength as it was. Coach Shaka Smart announced Monday that he had tested positive and stepped away from the program and into self-isolation. 

Then three players were held out of Tuesday's home loss to Oklahoma. Starters Courtney Ramey and Jericho Sims were unlikely to travel to Lexington, but reserve Brock Cunningham had been cleared to start practicing again. 

Now, UT’s next scheduled game is 6 p.m. Tuesday at home against No. 2 Baylor. No fans are expected to be allowed into the Erwin Center because of COVID-19 restrictions. 

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com or @BDavisAAS.