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."
"There's tremendous empathy for the student-athletes..."— Duke Men's Basketball (@DukeMBB) March 13, 2020
Coach K's thoughts on an unprecedented situation ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/4GMe8YI3ZB
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.