Duke's season has come to an unceremonious end. The Blue Devils program announced on Thursday that a positive test among Tier 1 personnel forced them to withdraw from the ACC Tournament ahead of a matchup against Florida State, and that the development will end their season.
"Unfortunately, after going an entire season with no positive COVID-19 tests among our men's basketball student-athletes and coaching staff, one member of our program tested positive following Wednesday's ACC Tournament game in Greensboro," Duke athletic director Kevin White said. "Since last March when the pandemic started, we have listened to our medical experts and always put safety at the forefront of any determinations regarding competition. As a result, this will end our 2020-2021 season."
Duke had notched consecutive wins in the ACC Tournament over Boston College and Louisville before the positive test. A source told CBS Sports' Matt Norlander that it was a player who did not play against Louisville in the second round of the ACC Tournament who tested positive.
"We have not asked more of any team in our history, and they deserve enormous credit for handling everything like the outstanding young men they are," coach Mike Krzyzewski said after the announcement. "I feel deeply for our players, who have done a terrific job all season in taking care of each other and the team.
"I am extremely proud of their collective attitudes and effort, which could not have been stronger."
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With the cancellation of the Duke vs. Florida State quarterfinal game, the Seminoles advance into Friday's semifinals and will play either Virginia Tech or North Carolina.
ACC Tournament odds were taken off the board at William Hill Sportsbook with a final decision to come on Duke's future odds, according to SportsLine.
Duke (13-11, 9-9 ACC) was on the outside looking in of the NCAA Tournament bracket in Jerry Palm's latest Bracketology prior to the news. It likely needed to win the league's postseason tourney to punch a ticket to the Big Dance, or at the very least needed a win over the Seminoles to make their bubble case more interesting.
The Blue Devils had several disruptions in their schedule this season related to the pandemic -- and made news by canceling part of their nonconference slate -- but none were nearly this consequential. Adding insult to injury, it went all season before its first positive test among Tier 1 personnel turned out to effectively be season-ending.
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With Duke being forced out of the ACC Tournament and its NCAA Tournament hopes now dashed, its streak of 24 consecutive appearances in March Madness will soon formally come to an end on Selection Sunday. It will snap the second-longest active streak in college basketball and the third-longest streak in college hoops history.