Kim Mulkeys Baylor Bears won’t be part of the Women’s Final Four, but the basketball coach is hoping one thing for the teams that remain in the NCAA tournament – no COVID-19 tests.
After Mulkey was eliminated Monday night in San Antonio by UConn with the best seeds, Mulkey spoke out in favor of the NCAA stop testing for the Final Four and focus exclusively on basketball.
“After the games today and tomorrow, there are four teams left on the men’s and women’s side,” Mulkey said unsolicited during her post-game press conference. “You have to take the COVID tests. Wouldn’t it be a shame to keep taking the COVID tests and then you have kids testing positive or something and they’re not allowed to play in the Final Four? So just forget about them. ” COVID tests and gets the four teams to play in each Final Four and compete against each other. “
One tournament game was previously affected by COVID-19. A men’s first-round matchup between Oregon # 7 and VCU # 10 was declared non-competitive because the Rams said there were multiple positive tests in their program. The ducks went straight to the second round.
Players and coaches in both tournaments were tested daily and wore devices that help track contact. As of Saturday, there were two confirmed positive tests at the women’s tournament with over 15,400 tests administered.
The last positive result among the players, coaches and other participants in the tournament was reported on March 22nd from daily antigen tests. False positive results are quickly retested using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which is believed to be more accurate.
The NCAA previously said that teams must have at least five healthy players in order to participate in a tournament game.
Mulkey himself got COVID-19 after contacting a family member who tested positive around Christmas. When she returned to the sidelines for a January game against Iowa State, she didn’t shred a word when asked if she was concerned the season might end amid a pandemic.
“The answer is, the season continues. It’s known as the almighty dollar,” Mulkey said at the time. “The NCAA must have the almighty dollar from the men’s tournament. The almighty dollar is more important than the health and well-being of me, the players, or anyone else.
“A conference does that, a conference does that. The CDC says that. Everyone is confused. I am confused. I feel uncomfortable with coaching. I understand, COVID is real. I had it – come and talk to me sometime. But I do don’t know … all the calls and procedures, this will go on and make it unusual and uncomfortable for any program. We are no different at Baylor. “
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.