Now that the college basketball season has made it this far, Baylor women’s coach Kim Mulkey wants the remaining teams to see it through to the end.
Therefore, Mulkey used part of her postgame news conference Monday night to suggest that the NCAA stop conducting COVID-19 testing during the men’s and women’s Final Fours.
"After the games today and tomorrow, there's four teams left, I think, on the men's side and the women's side," Mulkey said after her team was eliminated by a 69-67 loss to UConn, according to ESPN. "They need to dump the COVID testing. Wouldn't it be a shame to keep COVID testing and then you got kids that test positive or something and they don't get to play in the Final Four? So you just need to forget the COVID tests and get the four teams playing in each Final Four and go battle it out."
While the pandemic cost a number of teams opportunities during the regular season, including both the Baylor men and women, the Virginia Commonwealth men’s team is the lone program to be forced to withdraw from the NCAA tournament. Multiple positive tests within the VCU program led their first-round game against Oregon to be declared a no-contest.
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The tournaments have been held in regional bubbles, with the women in San Antonio and the men in Indianapolis. ESPN reported that of the more than 15,400 COVID-19 tests administered at the women’s tournament, just two have been confirmed positives.
Mulkey contracted COVID-19 after being exposed to a family member on Christmas Day. When she returned Jan. 4, she said she was uncomfortable coaching and that the season was all about money.
"The answer is this: The season will continue on. It's called the almighty dollar," Mulkey said at the time. "The NCAA has to have the almighty dollar from the men's tournament. The almighty dollar is more important than the health and welfare of me, the players or anybody else.”
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