Notre Dame women lose another game to COVID-19 protocols. Will they be made up?

Anthony Anderson
Tribune Correspondent

SOUTH BEND — None of Notre Dame’s three postponed women’s basketball games are likely to be made up, a team spokesperson said Tuesday afternoon.

“Not making up any games unless we have an (upcoming) opponent go down next week and there’s someone else available to play,” associate athletics communications director Josh Bates said in a text when asked about the postponed contests. “Otherwise no time.”

The list of Irish games postponed or canceled this season grew to five with the announcement late Monday that Thursday’s home contest against Syracuse is off.

“Notre Dame remains in COVID protocols, resulting in the postponement,” the Atlantic Coast Conference explained in a press release.

It was the second straight Irish game to be postponed, following last Friday’s announcement that the game Monday at North Carolina State would not be played.

“The postponement of the Notre Dame-NC State game follows positive tests, subsequent quarantining and contact tracing within the Notre Dame women’s basketball program,” the ACC shared in last Friday’s announcement.

Both statements by the ACC added that Notre Dame is “adhering to the outlined protocols within the ACC Medical Advisory Group report.”

That periodically updated report is available at ACC.com.

ND’s next scheduled game is Monday, Feb. 22, at Pittsburgh.

The only other contests showing on the team’s remaining schedule are at home against Florida State on Thursday, Feb. 25, and against No. 3 Louisville on Sunday, Feb. 28.

A home game against Pittsburgh that was scheduled for Jan. 14 was postponed on Jan. 5 due to the Panthers being in COVID protocols and has never been rescheduled.

Additionally, the Irish had what would’ve been home games against Duke on Jan. 31 and Virginia on Feb. 11 wiped out when those two programs canceled the bulk of their seasons in December and January, respectively, due to COVID concerns.

Notre Dame also has experienced playing games that were tweaked from their original dates. Those include the Wake Forest contest being moved up two weeks to Jan. 14 when that date became open for both schools, and a game at Syracuse going from Jan. 10 to Jan. 31 following multiple positive tests involving the Orange.

The Irish are 8-8 overall, 6-6 in the Atlantic Coast Conference and are generally considered by analysts to be on the bubble as far as making the NCAA Tournament.

Besides their three remaining regular-season games, they also are scheduled to compete in the ACC Tournament, set for March 3-7 in Greensboro, N.C. That winner will receive the ACC’s automatic NCAA Tourney bid.

The NCAA has announced that due to the pandemic and many teams having altered schedules this season, teams with losing records will be eligible for consideration as national tourney at-large selections. Ordinarily, those teams are not.

The NCAA Tournament selection show is planned for March 15. The 64-team tourney is to be played March 21-April 4, entirely in and near San Antonio.

Notre Dame head coach Niele Ivy draws up a play against Wake Forest Jan. 14 at Purcell Pavilion in South Bend. Thursday ND game against Syracuse has been postponed due to COVID-19 safety protocols.