The men's basketball team of the Duke Blue Devils has made some unfortunate history.
As noted by an ESPN piece, Duke has fallen out of the Associated Press men's basketball top 25 for the first time since Feb. 8, 2016. The unbeaten Gonzaga Bulldogs remain No. 1, while the 12-0 Baylor Bears are second in the poll.
Duke's fall follows last Tuesday's 74-67 loss to the Virginia Tech Hokies that dropped the Blue Devils to 5-3 overall. Before that result, Duke had won three straight after beginning the season 2-2. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski missed one game due to a coronavirus-related quarantine but returned to the bench for a victory over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the defeat at the hands of Virginia Tech.
Krzyzewski generated headlines in December, first when he questioned the NCAA holding college basketball seasons amid the COVID-19 pandemic and later when he canceled multiple nonconference games to allow players and other personnel to return home for the holidays.
"I would just like for the safety, the mental and physical health of players and staff to assess where we're at," Krzyzewski explained after a loss to the Illinois Fighting Illini on Dec. 8. "People are saying the next six weeks are going to be the worst. To me, it's already pretty bad. On the other side of it, there are these vaccines that are coming out. By the end of the month, 20 million vaccine shots will be given. By the end of January or in February, another 100 million. Should we not reassess that? See just what would be best?"
The Duke women's basketball team opted out of the 2020-21 campaign after winning three of four games.