ST. LOUIS– The Missouri Valley Conference announced Friday that the men’s quarterfinal basketball game between #2 seed Drake and #7 seed Northern Iowa was canceled abruptly Friday night, roughly an hour before tipoff at Enterprise Center.
Northern Iowa defeated Illinois State in opening round play Thursday night.
After 7pm Friday, the conference released a statement that said Northern Iowa did not have enough players available after a positive COVID-19 test and subsequent contact tracing under rules governed by the CDC and the City of St. Louis, and not the rules used by the conference this season.
“The MVC did not have the necessary conversations with local health officials to clarify that the administration of the tournament would be governed by St. Louis Health Commissioner’s COVID orders,” Commissioner Doug Elgin said in the statement. “I apologize and take full responsibility for not resolving the administration of policies that are in place during this year’s tournament.”
Elgin’s statement said the conference had told St. Louis public health leaders that the MVC’s guidelines conformed to CDC requirements.