Tennessee basketball’s first two games, Lady Vols opener canceled

A COVID outbreak has affected the Tennessee basketball Volunteers.

Roughly two hours after news that coronavirus halted team activities, men’s Tennessee basketball canceled the Volunteer Classic. Meanwhile, one team shutting down its season canceled the Tennessee Lady Vols opener.

On the men’s side, UT was set to host the Charlotte 49ers on Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 8 p.m. ET and then the VCU Rams on Friday, Nov. 27 at 6:30 p.m. ET. at Thompson-Boling Arena Both of those games were canceled due to the outbreak, which included head coach Rick Barnes getting infected, according to UTSports.

Meanwhile, the women’s Tennessee basketball program’s opener against the Florida A&M Rattlers, which was set for 1 p.m. ET Friday at Thompson-Boling Arena, over five hours before the men’s game that night, has also been canceled. That was due to FAMU’s announcement that its women’s basketball program was opting out of 2020-2021 competition.

With these cancelations, the men’s team’s season-opener will now be the Jimmy V Classic on Wednesday, Dec. 2 against the No. 1 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs in Indianapolis. They still have five non-conference games scheduled, all in December before SEC play begins and six non-conference games overall. That plus 18 SEC games makes for 24 regular season games scheduled in total.

Kellie Harper’s Lady Vols will now open their season just one day later. They were set to face the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Nov. 28 at 2 p.m. ET as part of a back to back home stand.

In fact, the Lady Vols may play two games before the men’s team opens the season, as they also will host the ETSU Bucs at 7 p.m. ET on Dec. 1. With the FAMU game canceled, the Lady Vols have six non-conference games scheduled before SEC play begins and seven scheduled overall, making for 23 regular season games when you combine it with the 16 SEC matchups.

Simply put, there will now only be one Tennessee basketball game to enjoy on the men’s or women’s side during the week of Thanksgiving, and it will be on Saturday. There is still a chance more games are delayed as well.