The Clemson Tigers men’s basketball team won’t be playing the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Wednesday.
The Atlantic Coast Conference confirmed on Monday that Wednesday’s showdown between Clemson and Notre Dame is postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, subsequent quarantines, and contact tracing impacting the Tigers. “The team is adhering to the outlined protocols within the ACC Medical Advisory Group report,” the ACC added in its brief statement. No timetable for Clemson’s potential return was mentioned.
As Matt Connolly wrote for the Charlotte Observer, this is Clemson’s second pause of 2021. The Tigers had one game scrapped in the first half of January because of coronavirus-related setbacks.
Clemson coach Brad Brownell told reporters on Monday morning that his program recorded multiple positive COVID-19 tests leading up to this latest temporary shutdown. “Your guys’ conditioning goes quicker than you think it does. … If your kids are not doing anything, it’s going to affect them. You’re not going to come back with the same energy and legs. You’re going to be tired,” Brownell explained. “We’ve gotta be able to keep our conditioning at a better level.”
Clemson improved to 13-5 overall and 7-5 in the conference with a 74-72 win over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets this past Friday. It’s unknown if the Tigers will be cleared to face the Pitt Panthers on Sunday. Notre Dame, meanwhile, is next scheduled to play at the Syracuse Orange on Saturday.
“You’re putting an element of danger in the situation,” Brownell added. “The thing that I’m scared of is that my team, who’s had a heck of a season and fought through a lot … and sacrificed since July. If we somehow get to the end and then we can’t play in the (NCAA) tournament and we made it. Like, oh my God, I’ll feel awful for my players. That’s a life experience that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.”