Speaking after his No.2-seeded Bears were knocked out by first-seeded UConn on Monday night in San Antonio, Mulkey advocated that the NCAA stop testing for the Final Four and focus strictly on basketball.
“After the game today and tomorrow, there are four teams left, I think, on the men’s side and the women’s side,” Mulkey said, uninvited, at his post-game press conference. . “They have to dump the COVID tests. Wouldn’t it be a shame to continue the COVID testing and then you have kids that test positive or something like that and they can’t play in the Final Four? So you just have to forget about the COVID tests and have the four teams play in each Final Four and will fight. ”
So far, one tournament game has been affected by COVID-19. A men’s first-round game between No.7 Oregon and No.10 VCU was declared without a competition due to what the Rams said were multiple positive tests in their schedule. The Ducks advanced straight into the second round.
Players and coaches from both tournaments have been tested daily and wear devices that help with contact tracing. On Saturday, there were two confirmed positive tests at the women’s tournament with more than 15,400 administered.
The latest positive result among players, coaches and others working at the tournament was reported on March 22 from daily antigen testing. Any false positives are quickly retested using a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, which is considered more accurate.
The NCAA previously said teams need at least five healthy players to participate in a tournament game.
Mulkey herself contracted COVID-19 after contact with a family member who tested positive around Christmas. When she returned to the sidelines for a January game against Iowa State, she didn’t mince words when asked if she was concerned the season would end amid a pandemic .
“The answer is this: the season will continue. It’s called the almighty dollar, ”Mulkey said at the time. “The NCAA must have the almighty dollar of the men’s tournament. The almighty dollar is more important than the health and well-being of me, the players, or anyone else.
“A conference does this, a conference does that. The CDC says this. Everyone is confused. I’m confused. I am uncomfortable as a coach. I understand, COVID is real. I got it – come talk to me someday. But I don’t know… all the calls and procedures, it’s going to go on and make it unusual, uncomfortable for every program. We are no different at Baylor. ”
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.