Duke without Zion for UNC showdown

Duke star freshman Zion Williamson was ruled out of Saturday’s showdown with No. 3 North Carolina.

“Zion will miss tonight’s game at UNC as he continues to recover from a Grade 1 right knee sprain,” Duke announced Saturday morning.

Williamson played just 33 seconds against North Carolina last month before a shoe malfunction led to a right knee injury.

And when the No. 4 Blue Devils and Tar Heels meet Saturday night in the regular-season finale, Williamson will remain idle. He’s targeting the ACC tournament next week.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski said Friday that he doubted Williamson would play in the rematch, but he wouldn’t know for certain until the team shootaround Saturday morning.

“I don’t think he’ll be ready for Saturday. I have to be careful not to push this,” Krzyzewski told reporters.

This will be Duke’s fifth game without Williamson since the knee injury. The Blue Devils have a 3-1 record entering the Chapel Hill showdown.

“I want to give him a chance to get in game shape,” Krzyzewski continued. “I would be surprised if he wasn’t ready by the ACC Tournament. Hopefully we’ll play some games there, not just one, and get ready for the NCAA Tournament.”

The conference tournament begins Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C., but Duke has locked up a double bye, meaning the Blue Devils won’t play until Thursday.

Duke could finish with the No. 1 seed with a win over North Carolina and a Virginia loss to Louisville.

–Field Level Media

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