The No. 13 Texas Longhorns are headed to the conference championship game after the No. 11 Kansas Jayhawks withdrew from the Big 12 Tournament on Friday following a positive COVID-19 test.
“Obviously we are disappointed and our players are disappointed that they can’t continue to compete for the Big 12 championship,” head coach Bill Self said in a statement released by the school. “While we have been fortunate to avoid this throughout the season, there are daily risks with this virus that everybody participating is trying to avoid. We have followed the daily testing and additional protocols that have been setup for us, unfortunately we caught a bad break at the wrong time. I look forward to preparing my team in probably a unique way for next week’s NCAA Tournament.”
The player who tested positive played in the Jayhawks win over the Sooners in the quarterfinals, drawing questions about the ability of both teams to play in the NCAA Tournament. NCAA rules require a seven-day string of negative tests in order to enter the bubble in Indianapolis.
The withdrawal sets the Longhorns up for an appearance in the Big 12 title game against the winner of other semifinal matchup between No. 1 seed Baylor Bears and No. 4 seed Oklahoma State. That game tips off at 5:30 p.m. Central on ESPN.
The championship game is scheduled for Saturday at 5:00 p.m. Central on ESPN. Texas has not played for a postseason conference title since 2011 and has lost six times in the championship round.