So much for that.
Tennessee-Memphis has been called off today due to COVID-19 protocols within the Memphis program. The announcement came with a little over an hour to go until tip-off in Nashville.
Today’s Memphis-Tennessee game at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville has been canceled due to COVID-19 protocols within the Memphis program.— Tennessee Basketball (@Vol_Hoops) December 18, 2021
All tickets will be refunded via the original point-of-purchase, with processing times dependent of method of purchase.
Tennessee and Memphis had this exact game called off one year ago due to COVID. Today was set to be the third game of a three game series, with both sides already hosting a home game.
For what it’s worth, there’s this from Grant Ramey.
Overheard from the Memphis side of press row at Bridgestone Arena: "All those players were at the party last night"— @GrantRamey (@GrantRamey) December 18, 2021
Tennessee was already on the floor warming up as the announcement was made. With the Volunteers in the clear from the COVID protocols, Barnes has apparently opted to host an intrasquad scrimmage for the fans that were already in the stands.
Tennessee is about to play a 5 v 5 game here in Bridgestone for the fans. pic.twitter.com/mmBPkgHDgc— Trey Wallace (@TreyWallace_) December 18, 2021
This sucks. Nothing more you can say. It’s awful for the fans who dedicated a Saturday to this game, it’s awful for Kennedy Chandler to not get to play his hometown team in likely his only season of college basketball.
This rivalry deserves to be played and the state of Tennessee needs this game to be played year in and year out. Tennessee and Memphis will now have to work on a new deal as they try to keep this series going.
UPDATE: Rick Barnes says there’s no chance of rescheduling the game this season.
“There’s no way we could do it,” Rick Barnes said as Tennessee remained on the floor after the cancelation.
Tennessee hosts Arizona on December 22nd, takes a week off for Christmas, and then conference play begins on the 29th with Alabama.