Memphis basketball players go to Twitter after game with Tennessee canceled due to COVID-19

Jason Munz
Memphis Commercial Appeal

NASHVILLE – Visceral reactions to Saturday's canceled Memphis-Tennessee basketball game were rampant on social media. 

Long after the announcement was made that COVID-19 issues within the Tigers' program forced the game to be called off, Twitter especially was still being littered with harsh takes from both fan bases as well as those acting as merely casual observers. 

A quick summary: Approximately 90 minutes before Saturday's scheduled tip-off, prior to the Tigers' arrival at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, the game was called off. The Volunteers, already in the building, took the floor a short time later and held an intrasquad scrimmage. Memphis players and coaches were not made available to the media for comment Saturday. 

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Many UT fans suggested Memphis' COVID-19 issues might have been a front for avoiding a game against the18th-ranked Vols. 

If anyone was curious how the Memphis players themselves felt about things – especially the notion they were somehow ducking the Vols – they needn't look far. Several Tigers took to Twitter to express their own opinions about the day's events. 

Junior guard Landers Nolley II spelled it out as plainly as any Tiger, suggesting it was UT that averted a loss Saturday. 

"Covid got to stop saving people," Nolley posted. "#SavedByVirus"

Senior guard Alex Lomax posted an image of himself wearing a mask aboard the Tigers' bus with the caption: "Tigers ain't neva ducked smoke cmon now YKTV (an acronym for 'You know the vibe')"

UT coach Rick Barnes told reporters shortly before his team's scrimmage there was "no way" the game with Memphis would be rescheduled for later this season.

"Ofc (a popular acronym for 'of course') he don't," Tigers guard Lester Quinones tweeted in response. 

Freshman Josh Minott: "Social media is hilarious." 

Reach sports writer Jason Munz at jason.munz@commercialappeal.com or on Twitter @munzly.