The old saying (and by old saying I mean my personal matra) goes: Never go to Starkville, MS.
On December 19th, Mizzou’s Football team went to Starkville having already had a pretty successful season and played in a game which had no importance whatsoever. They got spiked by the Bulldogs on the field, and also apparently got enough of a spike of COVID-19 to overrun the team with positive cases, leading to the cancellation of the Music City Bowl against Iowa.
Then on January 5th, Mizzou’s top 25 ranked basketball team travelled to Starkville to take on Ben Howland’s Bulldogs. After a terrific first half for the Tigers, MSU flipped the script and ran the Tigers right off the court in the second half. Then they apparently also ran Mizzou’s positive COVID cases up as well. And now the program will go on a pause for an undetermined amount of time:
The No. 13 Mizzou men’s basketball team will pause all team activities as a result of COVID-19 protocols, head coach Cuonzo Martin announced Friday.
Mizzou was scheduled to host LSU on Jan. 9 at 7:30 p.m. but that game has been postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date, which is consistent with Southeastern Conference COVID-19 protocols and game management requirements. The status of both Mizzou’s Jan. 12 game vs. Vanderbilt and Jan. 16 game at Texas A&M is still to be determined.
“This continues to be a challenging time across the college basketball landscape, and it is important that we prioritize the health and safety of our student-athletes first and foremost,” Martin said. “In laying out the schedule, the SEC has allowed for a week at the end of the season for the possibility that games would be cancelled, and we look forward to hosting LSU at a later date. Once we can return to competition safely, we will do so.”
Fans with tickets to Saturday’s postponed contest vs. LSU will be able to use those tickets for the game once it has been rescheduled by the SEC.
South Carolina is also currently on a pause, so this timing could give LSU and others to rearrange their schedules to play someone else. But obviously this is the first time the Mizzou program is pausing, having only lost their game against Prairie View A&M earlier this year due to issues in the Prairie View program.
As the team contact traces and are able to isolate the positive cases, they may be able to reorganize enough to play the games this upcoming week against Vanderbilt and Texas A&M, as those games will be determined.
The program has not released the extent of the positive cases or who has tested positive.
I’ll say it again... never go to Starkville. (I have no evidence the positive tests for the basketball team are related to their trip to Mississippi, but it sure seems like a weird coincidence. And I just think it’s funny that Mizzou seems cursed in Starkville, and now we all kinds of positive COVID cases after two separate teams come back after losses. So I’m mostly kidding about that part.