Basketball

Source: Duke could play in tournament if chosen

Duke could play in the NCAA tournament if selected as an at-large team or a COVID-replacement team, a source told ESPN’s Rece Davis.

The Blue Devils withdrew from the ACC tournament Thursday after a positive COVID-19 test within the program. At the time, athletic director Kevin White said in a statement that the cancellation of the conference tournament quarterfinal game “will end our 2020-21 season,” ending Duke’s streak of 24 consecutive NCAA tournament apperances.

The Blue Devils (13-11, 9-9 ACC), who won their first two games in the conference tournament, entered the week knowing that they likely needed to win the ACC tournament to extend the NCAA streak dating to 1996.

On Friday, Virginia became the second team in as many days forced to withdraw from the ACC tournament due to COVID-19 issues and contact tracing.

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

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

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. There is also 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.

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