The Maryland men’s basketball team’s home game Saturday against Nebraska has been postponed, the school announced Tuesday afternoon. Members of Nebraska’s program tested positive for the coronavirus, and the Cornhuskers paused all team activities Monday.
Nebraska did not specify how many individuals tested positive. The school only announced that there were positive results among its Tier 1 personnel, which includes players, coaches and all staffers who have regular contact with the team. Nebraska already postponed its game scheduled for Wednesday against Illinois, and the team was unable to return to play in time for its trip to College Park.
The Big Ten has not announced a rescheduled date for Nebraska to play at Maryland. Some other games around the conference have been postponed because of coronavirus cases within programs. Penn State hasn’t played since Dec. 30 after four straight games have been postponed (vs. Wisconsin, at Ohio State, vs. Michigan and vs. Rutgers). The Big Ten schedules proactively included some space that can accommodate makeup games. But as the number of missed games grows, as it has for a school such as Penn State, a team’s schedule will become a bit chaotic with quick turnarounds between matchups.
Maryland (7-6, 2-5 Big Ten) last played Sunday on the road at Illinois, earning a needed 66-63 win over the No. 12 Illini. After a grueling two-week stretch with games every three or four days — including four opponents currently ranked in the top 15 — the Terps finally had a five-day layoff before Saturday’s game against Nebraska. The Cornhuskers (4-8, 0-5) have yet to win a conference matchup this season and would have given Maryland an opportunity to win back-to-back Big Ten games.
Meanwhile, Michigan will play two games — Tuesday night vs. No. 9 Wisconsin and Saturday at No. 23 Minnesota — between now and its game against Maryland.
Maryland will now wait longer to return to play, with its next game scheduled for next Tuesday at Michigan. If there are no further adjustments to the schedule, the Terps will have eight days between games. The additional time will give starting point guard Eric Ayala a bit more time to return from a groin injury that kept him from playing against Illinois.
Maryland has not had any coronavirus cases in its program since the season began, but the Terps faced several schedule changes during the nonconference slate. Maryland’s games against Monmouth, Towson, James Madison, and George Mason were all canceled. Each time, the Terps scrambled to find a new opponent. Maryland had planned to play seven nonconference games but ultimately played six.