Less than 24 hours after Arizona State withdrew from the Empire Classic, the Sun Devils are back in — with Baylor dropping out of the event.
Arizona State had planned to withdraw on Sunday night, sources told ESPN, after the news that Baylor coach Scott Drew tested positive for COVID-19. The Bears still planned to play against the Sun Devils in the marquee game of college basketball’s opening night on Wednesday. According to sources, however, Arizona State’s medical protocols did not permit them to play Baylor, despite Drew being the lone member of the program to test positive on either Friday or Sunday.
Baylor is no longer traveling to Mohegan Sun for the tournament, sources told ESPN, while Arizona State left for the Connecticut casino on Monday morning.
The Sun Devils had planned to travel to Mohegan on Monday regardless, even if they were no longer in the Empire Classic. Mohegan Sun is hosting a number of events and tournaments over the first two weeks of the college basketball season, and Arizona State would have been able to find multiple opponents.
Rhode Island will be the fourth team in the Empire Classic.
Baylor is now scheduled to open its season at Seton Hall on Sunday, but it’s unclear whether that game will proceed as planned.