Duke basketball: Positive COVID-19 test likely ends season

Duke basketball (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Another Duke basketball season has likely ended despite no loss or warning.

According to a tweet late Thursday morning from Jeff Goodman of Stadium, the ACC Tournament journey for the 2020-21 Duke basketball team will end on a winning note but without a trophy in hand.

And perhaps the season is now over for the Blue Devils as well.

Evidently, there has been a positive COVID-19 test within the program. Goodman later noted that it was an unnamed walk-on who tested positive.

Unfortunately, Duke’s Thursday quarterfinal game in Greensboro won’t be rescheduled. It is what it is.

Now, despite two impressive wins as a No. 10 seed this week, against No. 15 seed Boston College on Tuesday and then against No. 7 seed Louisville on Wednesday, Duke’s resume (13-11, 11-9 ACC) probably won’t be strong enough to earn an NCAA Tournament bid.

Yes, without a chance to play No. 2 seed Florida State — the originally slated opponent for 6:30 p.m. Thursday — chances are Duke won’t hear its name on Selection Sunday.

And even if the Blue Devils had figured out how to keep their pedal to metal long enough to pull off a win over the Seminoles, who rank the highest among ACC teams at No. 15 in the AP Top 25 Poll, they might have also needed to knock off the winner of Thursday’s matchup between Virginia Tech and UNC.

Actually, some have been saying Duke needed to win the whole shebang to continue its March run beyond the ACC Tournament (outside of an NIT bid, of course, which the Blue Devils might not have accepted anyway).

A strange conclusion to yet another Duke basketball season?

It now seems as if 41st-year Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski will see a second consecutive season come to an end for his program without ever knowing what these past two sets of Blue Devils might have accomplished had they been able to play out their destiny on the court.

Oddly enough, today is one day earlier on the calendar than when all college hoops suddenly shut down last year.

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Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more updates and opinions on what all, if anything, remains in store for this young, admirable Duke basketball squad.