Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

February 12, 2014

Ice, snow storms force schedule changes in sports

The winter storm and icy conditions moving through the South caused teams to postpone games scheduled for this week, including Wednesday night’s showdown between No. 8 Duke and North Carolina.

Less than two hours before the announcement, school officials had said the game would be played.

However, North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham said in a statement that Duke’s bus could not get to the Blue Devils’ Durham, N.C., campus to pick up the team for the 11-mile ride to the Tar Heels’ arena in Chapel Hill.

Cunningham said the move was the “best decision to make at this time.”

The game was rescheduled for Feb. 20.

Atlantic Coast Conference policy states games can go on as scheduled despite bad weather as long as the teams, game officials and operations personnel necessary to run the contest are on site.

Georgia Tech officials, like their ACC brethren in North Carolina, had said Tuesday that their game against Boston College on Wednesday would be played because the Eagles and the officials were in Atlanta.

But as the storm worsened, the game was postponed until Thursday with officials citing safety concerns.

Some schools didn’t wait long before deciding the winter conditions were too severe to play games.

The Georgia Tech women’s basketball game in Atlanta against Virginia scheduled for Wednesday night was called off earlier in the day. Virginia officials expressed weather-related travel concerns and the game was postponed until Friday.

In South Carolina, the men’s basketball game between Vanderbilt and the Gamecocks at Columbia that was scheduled for Wednesday night was also postponed until Thursday. South Carolina officials announced the delay, citing safety concerns. The contest will be played at 4 p.m. Thursday.

South Carolina coach Frank Martin brought his family to work with him Wednesday, not wanting them to be at home should their neighborhood lose power.

“My son is shooting baskets right now,” Martin said of 6-year-old Christian. “I might put him in at practice.”

Vanderbilt arrived Tuesday and is staying at a hotel near campus until Thursday’s game can be played. The Commodores even squeezed in an extra practice Wednesday afternoon.

Some schools took extra measures to get games in.

The Georgia women’s team left Tuesday morning — some 57 hours before tipoff — to play at No. 14 Texas A&M on Thursday night. Georgetown moved its Wednesday night women’s game to a noon start and lost to Seton Hall, 72-71.

Still, the weather affected several college games in the region scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday:

• In Georgia: Georgia State called off a doubleheader with its men’s and women’s teams scheduled to host Texas State; Georgia Southern postponed its home game with UNC Greensboro that was to be played in Statesboro, Ga.

• In North Carolina: High Point postponed its men’s game with Charleston Southern from Thursday to Monday.

• In South Carolina: Stetson’s game at USC Upstate in Spartanburg, Davidson’s contest at The Citadel in Charleston and Elon’s matchup with Furman in Greenville were all postponed. Football practices Wednesday for Friday night’s College All Star Bowl for draft-eligible seniors at Furman also were cancelled.

• In Tennessee: Chattanooga postponed its home contest with Western Carolina.

The region’s NBA teams were all out of town and far from the storm Wednesday except for the Orlando Magic, who are hosting the Memphis Grizzlies. The forecast for Orlando, though, was 81 degrees.

No NHL games are scheduled to be played as the league took three weeks off during the Sochi Olympics.   

The storm did delay several of Friday’s opening Division I college baseball games throughout the region. Teams from the North typically travel South to start the season but several schools, including South Carolina, Wofford, Wake Forest and USC Upstate, pushed games back to Saturday.

It’s the second time in two weeks a winter storm has disrupted the Southeast. Areas from Texas to the Carolinas had slick roads, hundreds of thousands were without power, and a wintry mix fell in many areas. The Mid-Atlantic region also was expected to be hit as the storm crawled north and east.

 

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