Duke released its nonconference basketball schedule Wednesday morning. And, without further adieu, here it is:
Sat., Oct. 25: Coutndown to Craziness (midnight madness)
Tues., Nov. 4: Livingstone (exh)
Sat., Nov. 8: Central Missouri (Exh)
Fri., Nov. 14: Presbyterian
Sat., Nov. 15: Fairfield
Tues., Nov. 18: at Michigan State, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis (Champions Classic)
Fri., Nov. 21: vs. Temple, Barclays Center, Brooklyn (Coaches Vs. Cancer 2K Classic)
Sat., Nov. 22: vs. Stanford or UNLV, Barclays Center, Brooklyn (Coaches Vs. Cancer 2K Classic)
Wed., Nov. 26: Furman
Sun., Nov. 30: Army
Wed., Dec. 3: at Wisconsin (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)
Mon., Dec. 15: Elon
Thurs., Dec. 18: vs. Connecticut, Izod Center, New Jersey
Mon., Dec. 29: Toledo
Wed., Dec. 31: Wofford
Sun., Jan. 25: at St. John’s, Madison Square Garden
A few thoughts:
***The January nonconference game returns. St. John’s was a recent home-and-home opponent, as Duke traveled to New York to face the Red Storm in the 2010-11 season (a 93-78 blowout win for St. John’s), and the Red Storm visited Cameron Indoor Stadium in the 2011-12 season (an 83-76 win for Duke). Prior to that series, Georgetown was the most recent January home-and-home nonconference game (in 2008-09 and 2009-10).
A note: while the game is listed as at St. John’s on the schedule, it will actually be in Madison Square Garden, not Queens. So the atmosphere will be more like a Duke home game than a true road game. The crowd makeup for another neutral-esque site game—Dec. 18 versus defending national champion Connecticut—will be interesting.
***The Coaches Vs. Cancer field isn’t at the level of the past two holiday tournaments for Duke. In 2012-13, Minnesota, VCU, and No. 2 Louisville—all NCAA Tournament teams—awaited in the Battle 4 Atlantis. Last year No. 4 Arizona waited in the finals of the Preseason NIT. Hard to imagine Temple, Stanford or UNLV being a top-5 team in November. But…
***Duke will have a stiff challenge at Wisconsin in the ACC/Big Ten challenge. After spending the past two years hosting Ohio State and Michigan, the Blue Devils will play a true nonconference road game against a potential top-10 team coming off of a Final Four appearance.
The Blue Devils are 3-2 in ACC/Big Ten challenge road games.
***Logistically, I’m interested to see how Nov. 15 goes at Duke. The football team hosts Virginia Tech in what will be an important conference game, and the Hokies faithful historically travels in large numbers to Durham. We won’t know the time of that game until a few weeks before it happens, so I’d expect the tipoff time on the Nov. 15 hoops game against Fairfield to be TBA until then as well. Things could get tricky if kickoff is around 3 p.m.
***Army comes to town for the first time since 2002, and that will probably kick off in earnest the count to 1,000 wins for Mike Krzyzewski. If Duke is undefeated at that point (which would mean earning a good win over Michigan State), Krzyzewski will have 989 wins entering the game against his alma mater.