Following her team’s 69-67 loss on Monday night to top seed UConn in the Elite Eight in the women’s NCAA Tournament, Baylor coach Kim Mulkey spoke out about the NCAA testing for COVID-19 during the Final Four even though the Lady Bears will not be a part of it.
Specifically, Mulkey used her postgame platform to advocate against testing for COVID-19.
“After the games today and tomorrow, there’s four teams left, I think, on the men’s side and the women’s side,” Mulkey said during her postgame news conference. “They need to dump the COVID testing. Wouldn’t it be a shame to keep COVID testing and then you got kids that test positive or something and they don’t get to play in the Final Four? So you just need to forget the COVID tests and get the four teams playing in each Final Four and go battle it out.”
It is a confusing statement from Mulkey, who had COVID-19 herself in January and previously spoke out against the NCAA for having teams continue to play basketball in the midst of a pandemic.
“The answer is this: The season will continue on. It’s called the almighty dollar,” she said in January, via ESPN. “The NCAA has to have the almighty dollar from the men’s tournament. The almighty dollar is more important than the health and welfare of me, the players or anybody else. One conference does this, one conference does that. The CDC says this. Everybody is confused. I’m confused. I’m uncomfortable coaching. I understand, COVID is real. I’ve had it.”
Perhaps Mulkey’s comments had something to do with her being salty about the way the game ended for the Lady Bears as it appeared Baylor’s DiJonai Carrington was fouled on the final play of the game while missing a contested jumper from the baseline.
“I personally don’t see it as a controversial call. I’ve seen the replay, and one girl fouled me in my face and one girl fouled me in my arm,” Carrington, who finished with 22 points, said. “So, at that point you can’t do anything else. We drew up a play, [Smith] got fouled posting up and I got fouled driving. Nothing we could really do about that situation in particular. But, you know, turn the page.”
LeBron James even tweeted that a foul should have been called.
For UConn, freshman phenom Paige Bueckers scored 28 points to help her school makes its 13th consecutive Final Four appearance. The Huskies will face Arizona on Friday night.