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CMU men's basketball opener canceled because of COVID-19; WMU loses game, too

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

The season opener for Central Michigan men's basketball, scheduled for Wednesday night against Division III Trine, was canceled hours before tip-off.

Central Michigan said in a press release that the game was canceled because of COVID-19 protocols, but didn't specify which program was affected by the coronavirus.

It appears to be an issue with Trine, because later Wednesday, Western Michigan confirmed its men's hoops game at Indiana-based Trine set for Saturday has been canceled. That was supposed to be Western's first-ever trip to a Division III school.

Central Michigan head coach Keno Davis

Central Michigan and Western Michigan are the second and third Division I programs in the state to cancel games because of COVID-19. Detroit Mercy scrapped its appearance in this week's multi-team event (MTE) at Kentucky because a staff member tested positive. Detroit Mercy was to play Richmond, Kentucky and Morehead State. Detroit Mercy will try rescheduling the Kentucky game, both programs said.

Central Michigan, led by ninth-year coach Keno Davis, was 14-18 last season, 7-11 in the Mid-American Conference, and is trying to rebuild on the fly, having lost its four leading scorers, David DiLeo, Dallas Morgan, Kevin McKay and Rob Montgomery.

Wednesday marked the start of the COVID-19-delayed college basketball season.

Oakland, which was shut down for two weeks recently because of a massive outbreak in both the men's and women's programs, played the nation's first game, at Xavier, losing in a blowout. Later Wednesday, Michigan beat Bowling Green, Michigan State beat Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan lost a thriller at Butler in Clayton Bates' debut as head coach.

The Central Michigan women's team was unaffected by the situation with the men's team. The Chippewas, favored to win the MAC again, lost at Michigan to open their season.

Central Michigan's next scheduled men's basketball game is Saturday at Illinois-Chicago.

Dozens of games, nationally, already have been canceled, Duke and Baylor among the notables.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tonypaul1984