Another delay to Duke basketball season now seems likely

Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

The first Duke basketball game this season may come against Michigan State.

Late Wednesday afternoon, ABC Baltimore sports reporter Shawn Stepner tweeted some news about his local Coppin State basketball squad that could further delay the start of the 2020-21 Duke basketball season:

“Coppin State announces its men’s basketball games today and tomorrow at the Marshall Memorial MTE have been canceled because of COVID-19 issues with Tier 1 personnel. I am told the issues are with Coppin.”

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The Eagles are still on tap to play the Blue Devils in Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday at 2 p.m. (ACCNX). That said, considering how cautious Mike Krzyzewski and his group have proven to be in their attempt to prevent the spread of the virus to the Duke basketball bubble, it almost seems inevitable that word will soon come out of yet another postponement for the program.

If so, then the Blue Devils’ next shot at a season opener would be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (ESPN) when No. 9 Duke is slated to host No. 13 Michigan State in the Champions Classic.

Will any postponed Duke basketball outings ever take place?

Seeing that world conditions aren’t exactly promising at the moment, the widespread assumption is that postponements in non-conference play are bound to eventually turn into cancelations.

On Monday, Duke “postponed” what was originally its Wednesday season opener at home against Gardner-Webb. The sports info team put out the following message, which doesn’t come across as confident with respect to the scheduled matchup between the Blue Devils and Runnin’ Bulldogs happening in the future:

“This postponement comes following a positive COVID-19 test within the Gardner-Webb program. The teams may look to make up the game at a later date should schedules permit.”

In September, the Division I Council decided that teams must play at least 13 games to be eligible for the 2021 NCAA Tournament. The longer the start of Duke’s season is put on hold, the more important this requirement is sure to become in the eyes of the Blue Devils.

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