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UCLA cancels Las Vegas trip, Kentucky to play North Carolina

UCLA canceled its trip to Las Vegas because of COVID-19 issues within the Bruins’ men’s basketball program, forcing CBS Sports Classic officials on Friday to change the schedule.

Kentucky will play North Carolina in a stand-alone game at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.

The original plan was for a doubleheader that pitted UCLA against North Carolina and Kentucky against Ohio State. However, Ohio State canceled Thursday because of COVID issues.

College schedule shuffling

At Seton Hall, the Pirates’ game Monday against St. John’s has been canceled. In a release from the school, that will result in a conference-only forfeit per Big East policy when a team cannot begin or complete a game due to an insufficient number of players.

It will not affect Seton Hall’s overall record and will go down as a “no contest” per NCAA policy. The announcement came a day after the cancellation of Seton Hall’s Saturday game against Iona at Madison Square Garden.

At least 20 men’s basketball games and 36 women’s basketball games have been canceled or postponed this season due to COVID-19 protocols as of Friday afternoon. It is a number that seems sure to grow as the nation grapples with a surge in coronavirus cases.

Colorado State said Friday it was “unable to travel” to Fort Worth, Texas, for its Saturday game against Tulsa due to public health recommendations and COVID-19 concerns for the team. The school said the status of future games will be determined later, including a Tuesday matchup against No. 6 Alabama.

Second-ranked Duke announced Friday afternoon that it would play Elon on Saturday after having a second opponent cancel due to COVID-19 concerns.

The Blue Devils were originally slated to play Cleveland State before that program had to cancel and pause team activities. Duke then scheduled Loyola Maryland, only to say that game was off as well due to positive tests within the Greyhounds program.

Duke ended up bringing in Elon, located about 40 miles west of Durham. Elon is coached by Mike Schrage, who worked nine seasons under Mike Krzyzewski at Duke.

Syracuse also announced it is canceling its next two games due to COVID-19 protocols. The school will determine whether Saturday’s scheduled game against Lehigh and next Tuesday’s scheduled game against Cornell can be made up later.

More NHL moves

Two more NHL teams have been shut down amid worsening COVID-19 tests results and a desire not to put the entire league on pause as coronavirus variants spread across North America.

All games for the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers have been postponed through at least Christmas weekend, and the hard-hit Calgary Flames had their shutdown extended through the holiday break.

The training facilities for all three teams have been closed with the league citing “concern with the number of positive cases within the last two days as well concern for continued COVID spread in the coming days.”

The latest adjustments brought the total of NHL games postponed this season to 20.

More than 60 players are now in NHL COVID protocol, including 19 on the Flames. All but one player on active rosters across the league, Detroit’s Tyler Bertuzzi, are considered fully vaccinated. It is unclear how many have received an additional COVID-19 vaccine booster.

Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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