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Duke Still Has A Shot At Making The NCAA Tournament

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Duke could play in the NCAA tournament if selected as an at-large team or a COVID-replacement team, ESPN reports.

On Thursday, Duke announced the team would be out of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament due to COVID-19 safety protocols.

“The determination was made following the positive COVID-19 test for a member of our program’s Tier 1 personnel after Wednesday’s game,” the team said.

Stadium’s Jeff Goodman reports the positive test came from a walk-on player.

Duke athletic director Kevin White said at that time, the cancellation of the conference tournament quarterfinal game “will end our 2020-21 season,” which also ends Duke’s streak of 24 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances.

The Blue Devils were scheduled to take on Florida State in the ACC tournament quarterfinals Thursday night — the Seminoles automatically advanced instead.

The conference also announced the cancellation of Virginia’s game against Georgia Tech hours ahead of the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Semifinal after a positive test within the Virginia program.

AAC Commissioner Jim Phillips said Friday that he is heartbroken for the student-athletes at Duke and Virginia.

“We continue to be led by our ACC Medical Advisory Group and the protocols put in place that have allowed our teams to safely compete during the 2020-21 season,” he said. “We will follow the lead of our medical personnel to ensure the health and safety of our programs remain the top priority.”

But Dan Gavitt, NCAA senior vice president of men’s basketball, said a team needs just five healthy players to play in an NCAA tournament game.

To play in the NCAA tournament, a team needs to show seven consecutive negative daily tests before arriving in Indianapolis and will undergo daily testing while inside the controlled environment there.

Saturday night is the deadline for any team believing that it cannot meet the medical protocols to inform the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, ESPN reports.

There also is a 48-hour window after the bracket is announced during which teams can be replaced. After Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET, the bracket is locked, the article details.

ESPN reports that a Duke spokesperson declined to comment on the team’s tournament future.


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Written by Meg Turner

Meg graduated from the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged. Follow her on Twitter at @Megnturner_ and Instagram at @Megnturner.

5 Comments

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    • Totally agree Jonathan. Considering the entire March Madness will be played in Indiana, the NCAA’s can’t place Duke in a bracket at “home” like they always do, insuring a direct path to the Sweet 16 and viewers. There’s no extra money or motive to put them in this year. They don’t deserve it

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