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Michigan State-Michigan men's basketball game postponed as Wolverines deal with COVID-19


Michigan State-Michigan men's basketball game postponed as Wolverines deal with COVID-19

Saturday’s game between No. 10 Michigan State basketball and Michigan has been postponed due to COVID-19 protocols within the Wolverines' program, the schools announced less than eight hours before the scheduled tipoff.

It is the first time during the two coronavirus-disrupted seasons that the rivalry has been postponed. It was scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. tipoff at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor on Fox, but the network's college basketball podcast “Titus & Tate” tweeted early Saturday morning the game had been postponed "due to issues related to COVID-19."

Michigan in a statement said the team after testing Friday night "fell below the Big Ten Conference roster minimum, with fewer than seven scholarship players available." The programs will coordinate with the Big Ten Conference office to reschedule the game, according to releases from both schools.

U-M will provide information to fans with tickets to Saturday's originally scheduled game as soon as possible.

The Spartans are scheduled to host Minnesota at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The Wolverines are scheduled to host No. 3 Purdue at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

MSU coach Tom Izzo said Thursday afternoon he had not heard anything from Juwan Howard or anyone at U-M about the potential for the game being called off. The Spartans went to Ann Arbor on Friday night and went through a shooting practice at Crisler when they arrived.

MSU, which leads the Big Ten at 4-0 and is 13-2 overall, has won eight straight games.

Michigan, which is 7-6 and 1-2 in conference play, has lost three of its last four games but had its Dec. 21 game against Purdue Fort Wayne canceled. U-M lost 75-67 at Rutgers on Tuesday while playing without four players and a staff member for “medical reasons,” according to the school.

Big Ten Network reported Brandon Johns Jr., Frankie Collins, Terrance Williams II and Jaron Faulds were out along with video analyst Jaaron Simmons, while a fifth player, guard Zeb Jackson, also did not travel due to personal reasons.