USC basketball canceled Thursday afternoon's game with Stanford because of a potential COVID-19 issue. Another shutdown could be imminent.
UPDATE: USC confirmed the COVID-19 positive that prompted the cancelation against Stanford was a false positive. The Trojans plan to go ahead with Saturday's game against Cal.
The decision to cancel came just 15 minutes before tip off was scheduled in Santa Clara.
The worry is that USC's "suspected COVID-related issue" could mean another two-week shutdown for the program.
Coincidentally, the Trojans last attempt to face Stanford was also canceled because of the coronavirus. The team had to sit out most of December as a result.
On the optimistic side, this cancelation doesn't mean USC will definitely have to hit the pause button again.
USC basketball needs to confirm COVID-19 test results
Ryan Kartje of the LA Times reported the Trojans' game against Cal on Saturday could still potentially be played.
It'll all come down to whether the "suspected" issue is confirmed or negated.
Along with the Cal game on Saturday in Berkeley, USC is slated to host Oregon State on Jan. 28 and Oregon on Jan. 30. Those games could be impacted.
The timing of this is pretty unfortunate. The Trojans were on a roll before Tuesday when they suffered a loss to Oregon State, 58-56. The defeat ended a six-game winning streak including a rare road sweep of the Arizona schools.
USC basketball is 11-3 on the season and 5-2 in conference. That's good enough for third in the Pac-12 standings behind UCLA and Oregon.
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This week's games would have been an opportunity to bounce back.
Unfortunately the loss to the Beavers hampered the Trojans hopes of making it into the AP Top 25, something they were well on their way to achieving. However, it won't stop them competing for a place in the NCAA Tournament. USC hasn't managed that since 2017, but the arrival of Evan Mobley and new blood from the transfer portal has turned this team into a contender for the Pac-12.
The chance to prove they're still on that track is just going to be delayed, either a couple days or a couple weeks.