MSU forced to postpone game against Iowa because of COVID-19 issues


The Breslin Center / Photo Credit: Michigan State Athletic Communications

Nathan Stearns, Sports Editorial Assistant

EAST LANSING—Thursday’s scheduled game between Michigan State and No. 5 Iowa has been cancelled because of COVID-19 issues within the Spartan program.

Earlier on Thursday, Coach Tom Izzo announced that center Mady Sissoko and guard Steven Izzo tested positive for COVID-19. An additional positive test within the program on Wednesday afternoon forced the cancellation of Thursday’s game.

As a result of the positive tests, Sissoko and Izzo will miss a minimum of 17 days in order to comply with the Big Ten COVID-19 protocols.

The Big Ten will work with both schools to try and make up the game.

“I’m really disappointed, but it just goes to prove that this can affect anyone,” Izzo said in a statement.  “I feel so comfortable that me, my son and my players did everything possible and followed every protocol as best we could.  I’m really, really impressed with the way they have conducted themselves. This virus does not discriminate and I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to wear a mask, wash your hands and follow protocols.”

Coach Izzo himself tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 9. He returned from isolation on Nov. 23.

Fellow Big Ten programs Penn State and Nebraska are currently refraining from participating in conference play after positive COVID-19 tests within both programs.  It is unclear at this time if MSU will be forced to pause competition beyond Thursday’s game.

This is the second game that the Spartans have had cancelled because of COVID-19. They were originally scheduled to play No. 18 Virginia on Dec. 9, but the Cavaliers had multiple positive tests, and the game was subsequently cancelled.

The Spartans (8-4, 2-4) are currently scheduled to play Indiana at home on Sunday, Jan. 17.