No. 2 Duke Seeking Opponent After Loyola (MD) Game Canceled Due to COVID-19 Issues

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 17, 2021

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski reacts during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Appalachian State in Durham, N.C., Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
AP Photo/Gerry Broome

Duke University announced Friday that it is seeking a new men's basketball opponent for Saturday after its original opponent had to pull out of the game.

It was noted by Duke that Saturday's scheduled game against Loyola (MD) has been canceled due to positive COVID-19 tests within the Loyola program.

Duke remains hopeful that a replacement opponent can be found and called for those with tickets for Saturday's game to "stand by."

The Blue Devils are the No. 2 team in the nation this season with a 9-1 record. Their only loss was a 71-66 defeat at the hands of Ohio State, and they own victories over then-No. 10 Kentucky and then-No. 1 Gonzaga.

There is a sense of urgency for Duke to win a national championship this season since legendary head coach Mike Krzyzewski is set to retire at the end of the campaign and hand the program over to Jon Scheyer.

Duke figures to remain among the top title contenders throughout the season thanks to the combination of junior forward Wendell Moore Jr. and freshman forward Paolo Banchero, who are both averaging over 17 points per game.

The game against Loyola (MD) had been scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on Saturday at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina.

While the Greyhounds are 6-5 this season and have won five of their past six games, they would have been huge underdogs on the road against Duke.

It is unclear which teams may be candidates to replace Loyola on Saturday, but if no replacement can be found, Duke's next scheduled game is Wednesday against ACC foe Virginia Tech.