Folks, if you were looking forward to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball team’s home opener tomorrow evening against the Western Michigan Broncos — if only to see what the team looks like when not being extremely overwhelmed trying to open their season on the road against a top-15 team — I have some bad news for you.
The game has been canceled due to the “unavailability of players on the WMU roster,” according to a release sent out by Notre Dame this afternoon.
The @NDmbb game vs. Western Michigan, set for December 2, 2020, at Purcell Pavilion, has been canceled due to the unavailability of some players on the WMU roster.— @NDmbb Athletic Comms (@NDmbbSID) December 1, 2020
Notre Dame's next game will be Saturday, December 5, at 11 a.m. ET against Purdue Fort Wayne.
Although it didn’t explicitly say it, that sounds a lot like the Broncos have a COVID case on their team or with someone the team has been in contact with. Either way, there are no current plans to reschedule this match-up, so Notre Dame fans can likely forget about Western Michigan as an opponent for the year.
The Irish, 0-1 on the season, opened the year last Saturday evening by getting CRUSHED by the Michigan State Spartans in East Lansing. ND suffered through a 9+ minute scoring drought while the Spartans went on a 26-0 run to end the first half and begin the second, then scraped their way back in garbage time to ultimately only lose 80-70.
Now, with Wednesday’s game canceled, the Irish will instead look to get in the win column on Saturday, 12/5, against Purdue Fort Wayne at 11 AM ET. That game was added to the schedule just in the past couple days, after the Irish’s 12/5 match-up with the Tennessee Volunteers was canceled due to COVID issues on the Tennessee side.
It should be interesting the rest of the way for the college basketball season, considering what we’ve seen in football in terms of postponements/cancellations and how much more devastating losing a few players to COVID would be to the much smaller rosters on basketball teams (not to mention the games taking place indoors and there being more games/traveling, increasing the likelihood of COVID contraction/outbreak/spread).
For now, we will have to wait until Saturday to see the Irish back in action again — here’s to hoping there aren’t toooooo many more cancellations like this one on the horizon!