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No. 2 Baylor on pause again because of COVID-19 protocols

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Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Baylor coach Scott Drew, right, argues a call during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Texas, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

No. 2 Baylor has had its season interrupted again because of COVID-19 protocols, with the Big 12 Conference postponing the Bears' next two scheduled games.

The Big 12 announced the postponements on Thursday. The Bears, who at 17-0 have matched the best start in school history, were supposed to host TCU on Saturday and play at No. 9 Oklahoma next Wednesday.

Neither the conference or Baylor provided specifics, saying only that the postponements were in accordance with the league’s interruption guidelines for men's basketball.

That would indicate that the Bears wouldn't have the required six scholarship players for the games, either because of positive tests or contact tracing. Their next scheduled game is now at home Feb. 13 against No. 13 Texas Tech.

Baylor is coming off an 83-69 win at No. 6 Texas on Tuesday night, the first meeting this season between the Top 10 teams because their expected Dec. 13 game in Waco, which hasn’t yet been rescheduled, was postponed because the Bears were in a program pause then because of COVID-19 protocols.

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Coach Scott Drew missed the first two games of Baylor's reshuffled scheduled after testing positive for COVID-19 in November. The Bears started their season three days later than scheduled, with an unplanned trip to Las Vegas, and played only one of the first seven games listed on their original schedule.

Those scrapped games included a highly anticipated showdown against No. 1 Gonzaga in Indianapolis, which was called off about 90 minutes before tipoff on Dec. 5. A Bulldogs player was among two people in their traveling party who tested positive for COVID-19.

Baylor had a Jan. 12 home game against No. 17 West Virginia postponed because of COVID-19 issues in the Mountaineers program. That game has been rescheduled for Feb. 18.

The Big 12 said it would work with Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma to reschedule the remaining postponed games. The conference does have an open week set aside before the start of its postseason tournament.

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