Duke’s season has abruptly come to an end.
The Blue Devils, on the heels of consecutive wins in the ACC tournament, were set to take on Florida State in the quarterfinals later Thursday. That all changed when the program returned a positive COVID-19 test for one of its players.
Because of the positive COVID-19 test, Duke will be unable to play against FSU. And once the news became official, Duke athletic director Kevin White said the positive test will end the team’s season with the players now in quarantine.
"Unfortunately, after going an entire season with no positive COVID-19 tests among our men's basketball student-athletes and coaching staff, one member of our program tested positive following Wednesday's ACC Tournament game in Greensboro," White said.
Not only is the news a bummer for Duke’s players, coaches and fans, it’s also a tough outcome for those who bet on Duke to win the ACC tournament. The Blue Devils had long odds at +2000 at BetMGM, but opened postseason play with decisive wins over Boston College and Louisville.
Duke had received a significant portion of the ACC tournament wagers at BetMGM, but the sportsbook will refund all bets on the Blue Devils to win the ACC due to the team’s COVID-19 issues.
“Duke just won back-to-back games and was advancing through the tournament with a chance to make a run to the title game. Since COVID is knocking the Blue Devils out of the ACC tournament, BetMGM is going to refund all bets on Duke to win the ACC,” said Seamus Magee, sports trader for BetMGM.
According to BetMGM, Duke received 32% of the money wagered on the ACC tournament. Only Georgia Tech, the tournament’s No. 4 seed with +1600 odds, received more of the money (32.5%).
Duke was a long shot to make the NCAA tournament and likely would have needed to advance to the ACC title game in order to have a shot. A win over a top-tier team like Florida State, though, would have put Duke squarely back on the bubble. Instead, Duke will miss the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1995.
"While our season was different than any other that I can remember, I loved the 2020-21 Duke Basketball team and was honored to be their coach. We have not asked more of any team in our history, and they deserve enormous credit for handling everything like the outstanding young men they are," said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "I feel deeply for our players, who have done a terrific job all season in taking care of each other and the team."
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