Duke drops out of ACC Tournament, jeopardizing NCAA streak
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - Duke has pulled out of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament and ended its season after a positive coronavirus test and the resulting quarantining and contact tracing.
The ACC announced that the Blue Devils’ quarterfinal game with Florida State scheduled for Thursday night has been canceled. Duke had won its first two tournament games, but finished just 13-11 overall and 9-9 in ACC games.
Athletic director Kevin White said that Duke’s season is over, ending the Blue Devils’ streak of 24 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
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The Blue Devils entered the week knowing that they likely needed to win the ACC Tournament to extend the NCAA streak dating back to 1996 was likely on the line.
Duke failed to live up to its always lofty expectations, but coach Mike Krzyzewski said he loved this young team and was honored to coach it.
"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," Krzyzewski said. "I feel deeply for our players, who have done a terrific job all season in taking care of each other and the team.
The Duke Blue Devils bench reacts during the first half of their second round game against the Louisville Cardinals in the ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 10, 2021, in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Til
"I am extremely proud of their collective attitudes and effort, which could not have been stronger."
Duke athletic director Kevin White said someone within the program tested positive after Wednesday's game. He said the men's basketball players and coaching staff had not had a positive test the rest of the season.
White said the players are being quarantined.
"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," White said. "As a result, this will end our 2020-21 season. We wish every team still playing college basketball good health and the very best during the next few weeks."
The Seminoles advanced to the ACC Tournament semifinals to play the winner of the North Carolina-Virginia Tech game.