Rice Women’s Basketball remains on pause, missing its second weekend of action. When can the Owls return and what is at stake when they do?
Last week marked the first time Rice Athletics had initiated a postponement for a scheduled competition. Now, the Rice Women’s Basketball has postponed their third and fourth contests, delaying this coming weekend’s series against North Texas. Because of the arrangement of the schedule, every weekend off bumps two games off the docket.
Rice (10-1, 6-0) enters the weekend atop Conference USA West in winning percentage (1.00) and wins (six). The Owls can’t fall behind in the percentage column without playing and suffering their first conference defeat, but not returning to the court in the somewhat near future could put their No. 1 overall seed in jeopardy.
Unlike the football championship, there are no established quotas to make the conference tournament field. UAB had to play one more game during the final week of the regular season to fulfill those requirements. Missing too many weekends won’t disqualify Rice from the tournament. But, seeding is not guaranteed.
According to a source familiar with the revised procedures, a team must play within four games of the average number of games completed by conference members during the regular season to be eligible for a first round bye.
Rice has played six league games to this point and 11 total games. Without playing this weekend they’ll be roughly two games behind both measures. That’s well within the window stipulated, but losing additional weekends could push the Owls’ closer to the line than they’d prefer.
No verdict has been given to this point on when any postponed games would be rescheduled. If football did indeed set a precedent, one would assume those added games would be decided in the next few weeks. There are only four more scheduled weekends of conference play once February arrives. Until then, we sit and wait, hoping for a safe return to competition and uncertain of what the future holds.