Coach K expresses 'tremendous empathy' for Duke seniors

Duke pulls away to sweep UNC (1:51)

After North Carolina cut the score to 44-43, Duke gets contributions up and down the roster, with Justin Robinson scoring 13 points, and pulls away for a 89-76 win vs. UNC. (1:51)

The Duke Blue Devils were no doubt looking forward to playing in the ACC tournament after finishing tied for second in the regular-season conference standings. Beyond that, the Blue Devils were headed to the NCAA tournament in hopes of capturing their sixth national title.

That all changed, of course, when the NCAA announced it was canceling the men's and women's basketball tournaments, as well as the other college winter sports championships because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Duke hasn't won a national championship since 2015, when the Blue Devils beat Wisconsin for the title. Last season, coach Mike Krzyzewski's team, a No. 1 seed, lost to Michigan State in the Elite Eight.

Coach K took to Twitter recently to express empathy for the many athletes whose seasons -- and in the case of seniors, careers -- abruptly ended. He called March Madness "one of the gifts that our country has that makes everyone feel better."

At their last regular-season home game, Duke's seniors -- Jack White, Javin DeLaurier and graduate student Justin Robinson -- took the opportunity to address the fans at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Duke's season certainly had its lows. The November upset at the buzzer by Stephen F. Austin handed the Blue Devils their first loss at home since 2000. But there also were bright spots, including the regular-season sweep of archrival North Carolina.