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Duke Basketball Schedule Released, And It's A Tough One

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The schedule is out and there are some great matchups, starting with Michigan State in the Garden. By the way, that's also Duke's first chance to put Coach K past Bob Knight: he enters the season with 902 wins; that'll be for 903, which is one better than Knight.

ACC: Single matchups vs. Home-and-home
  Sat, Jan 07  Georgia Tech * Atlanta, Ga. - Philips Arena
  Thu, Jan 12  Virginia * Durham, N.C.
  Sun, Jan 15  Clemson * Clemson, S.C.
  Thu, Jan 19  Wake Forest * Durham, N.C.
  Sat, Jan 21  Florida State * Durham, N.C.
  Wed, Jan 25  Maryland * College Park, Md.
  Thu, Feb 02  Virginia Tech * Blacksburg, Va.
  Sun, Feb 05  Miami * Durham, N.C.
  Wed, Feb 08  North Carolina * Chapel Hill, N.C.
  Sat, Feb 11  Maryland * Durham, N.C.
  Thu, Feb 16  N.C. State * Durham, N.C.
  Sun, Feb 19  Boston College * Chestnut Hill, Mass.
  Thu, Feb 23  Florida State * Tallahassee, Fla.
  Sat, Feb 25  Virginia Tech * Durham, N.C.
  Tue, Feb 28  Wake Forest * Winston-Salem, N.C.
  Sat, Mar 03  North Carolina * Durham, N.C.

If they miss, next chance is against Davidson in Cameron.

Other highlights: Duke will see Tennessee in Maui, Ohio State in Columbus as part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, Colorado, Penn and St. John's in Cameron and Temple in Philly. They'll also make a second appearance in the Garden in early December to take on Washington.

As far as the conference schedule goes, UNC and Maryland are home-and-home as always. So are Wake Forest, FSU and Virginia Tech.

For the single-game encounters, Georgia Tech is down at their place as is Clemson, and B.C. is on the road as well.  That leaves Virginia, State and Miami visiting Durham.

If we were being totally objective, which we're not, but we'll try, we'd expect Duke to win at least seven of the home-and-home and to finish the unbalanced part of the schedule at at least 6-1.

Worth noting: between November 15th and December 10th, Duke will face Michigan State, Ohio State, Tennessee, Ohio State and Washington.  If Duke beats the Vols, they'll take on the winner of the Michigan/Memphis game.  And if they advance to the championship, they'll get whoever emerges from UCLA, Chaminade, Georgetown and Kansas.

Just for argument's sake, let's put Duke in the finals against UCLA after beating Michigan: that means in less  than a month they'll have played:

  • Michigan State (Big Ten)
  • Ohio State (Big Ten)
  • Washington (PAC 10)
  • Tennessee (SEC)
  • Michigan (Big Ten)
  • UCLA  (PAC 10)

Win all six, regardless of who the last two are against, and the RPI goes through the roof.

No matter what happens, Coach K has backed up his suggestion that ACC teams should play rugged schedules.  That's an intense stretch.

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