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Syracuse, Buffalo men’s hoops on pause after positive test

NCAA Basketball: Buffalo at Syracuse

Dec 19, 2020; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim reacts to a call against the Buffalo Bulls during overtime at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The Syracuse and Buffalo men’s basketball programs are on pause after a member of the Bulls tested positive for COVID-19.

The decisions announced by both teams came after they played Saturday in Syracuse’s Carrier Dome.

The Mid-American Conference school did not reveal who tested positive, except to say that it involved either an athlete, or member of the team’s coaching or support staff. The school was notified of the positive test on Sunday.

It’s unclear how long the pause will last. Buffalo said it will follow NCAA, conference and local health protocols. Contact tracing is underway at Syracuse.

“We are using an abundance of caution in this situation, as we have throughout the pandemic, " Syracuse director of athletics John Wildhack said in a statement. “The health and well-being of our student-athletes and staff associated with the men’s basketball program is of the utmost importance to us.”

Syracuse (6-1) postponed it game Tuesday against Notre Dame and is scheduled to play at Wake Forest on Dec. 30. Buffalo (3-3) is scheduled to play non-conference games at St. Bonaventure on Tuesday, followed by a trip to No. 7 West Virginia on Dec. 29.

The Bulls are already without head coach Jim Whitesell, who entered a 14-day self-quarantine period on Dec. 14 after coming into close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.

This is the third time in six weeks that Syracuse has been forced to pause activities because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Head coach Jim Boeheim and an unnamed player tested positive in mid-November and the team’s activities were paused for two weeks.

Boeheim said in a Zoom call with reporters that a walk-on also tested positive in late November. That halted practice for three days and sidelined his son, junior guard Buddy Boeheim, for two weeks under New York State health guidelines.