As the storm continued throughout the day, officials with the Georgia Tech administrators thought better about opening the basketball arena and chose to postpone the game until today at 5 p.m.
While both teams and game officials were in Atlanta, Georgia Tech administrators decided road conditions made it unsafe for many essential game operations personnel and fans to reach the downtown arena.
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 Thursday night was cancelled Wednesday. 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 today. South Carolina officials announced the delay, citing the safety concerns. No time has been set for the Thursday’s contest.
One marquee game — No. 8 Duke at rival North Carolina — was still scheduled to be played. Duke spokesman Matt Plizga said the Blue Devils would “adjust accordingly” to deal with the worsening conditions on the 11-mile drive between campuses.
South Carolina coach Frank Martin said there was little traffic on his drive to campus and even brought his family to work Wednesday so they wouldn’t be in their home should the neighborhood lose power.
“My son is shooting baskets right now,” he said of 6-year-old Christian. “I might put him in at practice.”
Vanderbilt arrived Tuesday and is staying at a nearby hotel until today’s game can be played.
“I really feel bad for them because they have a game Saturday,” Martin said.
Martin said if it were up him and Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings, the teams would’ve done anything possible to play. But Martin understood the hazards playing may have meant for fans and those working at South Carolina’s 18,000-seat arena.
“We have to make sure everyone’s safe,” he said.
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 tonight. Georgetown moved its Wednesday night women’s game to a noon start and lost to Seton Hall, 72-71.
Still, several college games in the region scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday were affected by the weather:
n 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. Kennesaw State postponed a home game with Northern Kentucky from today until Friday.
n In South Carolina: Stetson’s game at USC Upstate in Spartanburg, Davidson’s contest at 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.
n 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.