Iowa-Michigan State matchup postponed

On Wednesday night, the University of Iowa and Michigan State University mutually agreed to postpone their men’s basketball game set for Jan. 14.


Hannah Kinson

Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery speaks with the assistant coaches during a timeout for the basketball game against Northern Illinois on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020 at Carver Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes defeated the Huskies, 106-53.

Austin Hanson, Sports Editor

The University of Iowa, in conjunction with Michigan State University, announced that Jan. 14’s men’s basketball game between the two institutions was postponed because of COVID-19 concerns within the Spartans’ men’s basketball program.

Per an Iowa release, the decision to postpone the game was mutually agreed upon by both schools in an effort to preserve the health and safety of all participating student-athletes, coaches, and staff. Both institutions are working with the Big Ten Conference to find a rescheduled date for the game to take place.

“I’m really disappointed, but it just goes to prove that this can affect anyone,” Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said.  “I feel so comfortable that me, my son, and my players did everything possible and followed every protocol as best we could.  I’m really, really impressed with the way they have conducted themselves. This virus does not discriminate and I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to wear a mask, wash your hands and follow protocols.”

The Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday afternoon that two Spartans tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 10, and that Michigan State was still planning to travel to Iowa City for its matchup with No. 5 Iowa. Izzo’s son Steven and his roommate, freshman Mady Sissoko, were the two Spartans that reportedly tested positive.

According to a Michigan State press release, an additional positive COVID-19 test result triggered the postponement of Thursday’s Iowa-Michigan State game.

Tom Izzo was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Nov. 9, per The Detroit Free Press.

Tom told The Detroit Free Press that the Spartans had not shut down team activities following the two positive COVID-19 test results they received. Tom also noted that his players and staff had continued to test negative prior to the positive result recorded on Wednesday.

Current Big Ten medical protocols dictate that student-athletes that test positive be held out of athletic activities for a minimum of 17 days to isolate after infection and then undergo cardiac evaluation.

Prior to the postponement of Thursday’s matchup, the Hawkeyes had played their entire slate of games as scheduled.

Nebraska and Penn State’s men’s basketball programs are also currently on activities pauses because of COVID-19, and Michigan State’s press release stated that no final decisions on Spartan men’s basketball games beyond Jan. 14 have been made.

Iowa’s men’s basketball program paused team workouts in July after it received positive COVID-19 test results for two of its players.

The Hawkeyes’ next game is scheduled for Jan. 17. Iowa will face Northwestern on the road in Evanston, Illinois.

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