Duke could play in the 2021 NCAA tournament if the Blue Devils are selected as an at-large team or a COVID-19 replacement team, according to ESPN’s Rece Davis.
The Blue Devils were unable to play in their ACC tournament game against Florida State on Thursday after a positive COVID-19 test within the program. Following the positive test, Duke athletic director Kevin Whites said in a statement that the program not being able to compete was the “end” of the Blue Devils’ season.
“This will end our 2020–21 season,” White said. “We wish every team still playing college basketball good health and the very best during the next few weeks.”
Duke (13–11) won its first two games of the conference tournament, but are unlikely to hear their name called among the initial 68 teams on Selection Sunday. The Blue Devils have played in 24 consecutive NCAA tournaments and have not missed the tournament since 1995. They appear in the “Next Four Out” section of SI’s latest Bracket Watch.
According to the NCAA, teams are required to have seven consecutive days of negative tests results in order to play in the tournament in Indianapolis. Then teams must complete testing daily inside the tournament bubble.
Teams need only five eligible players to participate in the tournament. The deadline for any team that is unable to meet the medical protocols to play in the NCAA tournament is 11 p.m. on Saturday.
There will be no teams joining the tournament once it begins. The deadline for teams to be replaced in the tournament is 6 p.m. ET Tuesday.
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