Duke and coach Mike Krzyzewski were in danger of missing the NCAA tournament, and then a positive COVID-19 test all but confirmed that the Blue Devils won't be dancing in 2021.
On Thursday, college basketball analyst Jeff Goodman reported that Duke had a positive COVID-19 test and wouldn't play in the ACC tournament. At 13–11 on the season, the Blue Devils didn't do enough to make the Big Dance without a strong run in the ACC conference tournament.
The Blue Devils last fell short of a March Madness berth in 1995, when Krzyzewski missed most of the season due to a ruptured disk in his lower back. The program's 24-season streak is the third-longest in NCAA history, trailing North Carolina (27) and Kansas (30).
Duke has appeared in the NCAA tournament 43 times since 1955 and has recorded five championship titles, most recently in 2015. Krzyzewski coached all five championship runs and stands behind John Wooden (10) for most NCAA tournament titles won by a head coach.
Duke recorded back-to-back appearances in the Elite Eight in 2018 and 2019. The Blue Devils also won the ACC tournament in 2019.
Duke was ranked as high as No. 6 in the AP Top 25 poll early in the 2020–21 season but then fell out of the rankings for the first time since 2016. A late-season four-game winning streak helped bring the Blue Devils back onto the NCAA tournament bubble heading into March.
Other blueblood programs, including Michigan State and Kentucky, are also in danger of missing the NCAA tournament in 2020–21. The Spartans hold the fourth-longest streak of consecutive March Madness appearances with 22.
Duke holds the highest NCAA tournament winning percentage among eligible programs with a 114–38 combined record (.755). The Blue Devils have appeared in 11 title games, 16 Final Fours and 22 Elite Eight rounds in the program's decorated history.
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