Duke, Kentucky may miss same NCAA Tournament for first time since 1976

The NCAA Tournament could be played without perennial powerhouses Duke and Kentucky for the first time since 1976, but it's not a certainty.

Duke's Mike Krzyzewski greets Kentucky's John Calipari before the game in the Champions Classic Tuesday night. Nov. 6, 2018

Duke athletic director Kevin White said in a statement Thursday that a positive COVID-19 test within their program that forced the Blue Devils to withdraw from the ACC Tournament "will end our 2020-21 season," ending a streak of 24 consecutive Big Dance appearances.

On Saturday, ESPN reported that Duke could play in the tournament if selected as an at-large team or a COVID-replacement team.

Kentucky isn't expected to get an at-large bid with a 9-16 record. The Wildcats lost to Mississippi State in their SEC Tournament opener.

Social media reactions from Thursday:

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