Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann coaching against Duke on Nov. 30, 2021. Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Chris Holtmann calls a play to his team during the first half of the NCAA men’s basketball game against the Duke Blue Devils at Value City Arena in Columbus on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. Duke At Ohio State Big Ten Acc Challenge

A marquee men’s college basketball matchup between the #15 Ohio State Buckeyes and #21 Kentucky Wildcats (AP poll rankings) set for the CBS broadcast network Saturday at 5:15 p.m. Eastern (from the CBS Sports Classic event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, a doubleheader also set to feature a North Carolina-UCLA game) has now been cancelled thanks to positive COVID-19 results in the Buckeyes’ program. Here’s their release on that, via Jack Emerson, sports editor of Ohio State student newspaper The Lantern:

Interestingly enough, that came just a few hours after a press conference where Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann (seen above during Ohio State’s Nov. 30 win over Duke) said they’d had “real conversations” about rising COVID cases in sports, but didn’t point to a potential cancellation here:

As for this game, ESPN’s Jeff Borzello reported that Kentucky and CBS are working to try and line up a replacement opponent for the Wildcats:

We’ll see if that comes to pass. But this is just one of many recent college basketball cancellations, including No. 4 UCLA’s home game against Alabama State Wednesday (called off less than an hour before tipoff) and No. 2 Duke’s Saturday game against Cleveland State (the Vikings also cancelled a game next week against Kent State). That UCLA cancellation may wind up impacting this CBS Sports Classic event too, even though it hasn’t yet. And these cancellations often lead to issues for the networks that were counting on having those games in that time slot.

[Jack Emerson on Twitter; photo from Adam Cairns/The Columbus Dispatch, via USA Today Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.