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Marques Bolden out for ACC tournament, Zion Williamson set to return for Duke

Duke’s Coach K updates the status of Zion Williamson and Marques Bolden after loss to UNC

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski gave an update on the status of Zion Williamson and Marques Bolden after the Blue Devils lost to the North Carolina Tar Heels at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C, Saturday, March 9, 2019.
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Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski gave an update on the status of Zion Williamson and Marques Bolden after the Blue Devils lost to the North Carolina Tar Heels at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C, Saturday, March 9, 2019.

Duke is planning to be without junior center Marques Bolden for at least the ACC tournament.

In an interview posted Monday on the school’s athletics department website, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski ruled Bolden out for the tournament due to the sprained left knee he suffered during last Saturday’s 79-70 loss at North Carolina.

“There’s no way Marques will be ready for the ACC Tournament,” Krzyzewski said. “Whatever grade (the sprain) is, he’s not going to be well in one week.”

The 6-11 Bolden started 21 of Duke’s 31 regular-season games, averaging 5.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. He was injured less than three minutes into Saturday night’s game when he was attempting to block a shot.

Bolden leads the Blue Devils in blocked shots with 55. Duke is the nation’s leader with 7.0 blocked shots per game as a team.

While Bolden is out for the ACC tournament and likely the first weekend of the NCAA tournament, Duke expects to have 6-7 junior Zion Williamson back from the sprained knee that’s sidelined him since Feb. 20.

“We should be getting Zion back,” Krzyzewski said in the same interview posted Monday.

Voted the ACC player of the year on Monday, Williamson is averaging 21.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. He hasn’t been in uniform for Duke’s final five regular season games after suffering a sprained right knee.

Williamson’s injury was diagnosed as a grade one (mild) sprain. Though he’s appeared at games an in public moving around without the use of crutches, Duke has been deliberate with this recovery.

He went went through practice Monday with no setbacks and remains on schedule to play Thursday night.

Duke (26-5), seeded No. 3 for the ACC tournament, plays its first postseason game Thursday night at 9:30 p.m. at Charlotte’s Spectrum Center.

The Blue Devils will play either No. 6 seed Syracuse (19-12), No 11 seed Boston College (14-16) or No 14 seed Pittsburgh (13-18).

Boston College and Pitt play Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in a first-round game. The winner advances to the second round to play Syracuse Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. The winner of that game advances to play Duke in the quarterfinals.

An Illinois native, Steve Wiseman has covered Duke athletics since 2010 for the Durham Herald-Sun and Raleigh News & Observer. Prior to his arrival in Durham, he worked for newspapers in Columbia and Spartanburg, S.C., Biloxi, Miss., and Charlotte covering beats including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, University of South Carolina athletics and the S.C. General Assembly.
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