On the one-year anniversary of Rudy Gobert testing positive for COVID-19, which led to a suspension of the 2019-20 NBA season, we were reminded this morning that we’re still in this same nationwide pandemic.
Due to a positive COVID-19 test, reportedly from a walk-on in their program, the Duke Blue Devils’ men’s basketball team is going to miss the ACC Tournament, effectively ending their troubled 2020-21 season, according to multiple reports. The Blue Devils were scheduled to play the ACC second-seeded Florida State Seminoles tonight at 6:30 p.m., so in all likelihood, their season would’ve been over by the end of tonight anyway.
Shortly after the initial reports, the ACC officially canceled the game, moving Florida State along to the next round.
This same Duke program has had multiple in-direct run-ins with COVID-19 throughout the season. In a pandemic-stricken season, featuring many opt-outs from athletes across sports, we’re less than a month removed from star swingman Jalen Johnson ending his season to focus on his NBA Draft preparation. (Predictably, he was met with criticism.)
There was also Duke’s women’s basketball program, led by first-year head coach Kara Lawson, who opted out of the 2020-21 on Christmas after a 3-1 start, citing health and safety concerns relating to COVID-19.
Coach K toyed with the idea, but obviously opted to continue.
The Blue Devils’ season will end at a 13-11 record, and they’ll likely miss their first NCAA Tournament since 1994-95, not including the cancellation of last year’s March Madness.