Positive COVID-19 case ends Duke’s 2020-21 season

Duke’s stay in the ACC Tournament has come to an end due to a positive COVID-19 test, effectively ending the Blue Devils’ season outright.

“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 Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White said in a statement.

“After working with our medical professionals and following Duke and ACC Medical Advisory Group health, safety, and contact tracing protocols, the student-athletes on our team are now in quarantine. 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 2020-21 season. We wish every team still playing college basketball good health and the very best during the next few weeks.”

The Blue Devils were considered a bubble team after their latest victories over Boston College and last night’s impressive win over Louisville. But Duke likely needed to go much deeper into the ACC Tournament, potentially winning it all, to make the NCAA Tournament field.

Instead, for the second time since the pandemic took over the world, Duke’s season has come to a premature end at the hands of COVID-19.

“While our season was different than any other that I can remember, I loved the 2020-21 Duke Basketball team and was honored to be their coach,” head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “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. 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. We are disappointed we cannot keep fighting together as a group after two outstanding days in Greensboro.”

The Tier 1 positive case, meaning COVID has infiltrated team personnel, players and/or coaches, is believed to be the first since the season began for the Blue Devils.

“This season was a challenge for every team across the country and as we have seen over and over, this global pandemic is very cruel and is not yet over,” Krzyzewski said. “As many safeguards as we implemented, no one is immune to this terrible virus.”

Duke was set to play Florida State in the quarterfinals tonight. The teams were set to play in December, but due to a positive test within the FSU program, the game was postponed and later canceled.

Duke concludes the season with a 13-11 overall record and completed its regular season ACC schedule at 9-9.

Published: 2021-03-11 16:25:35

Tags: #Positive #COVID19 #case #ends #Dukes #season

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