For the time being, at least, playing outside the ACC after the first of the year (OK, the second) is virtually a thing of the past. Chalk up another casualty to conference dilution.
The advent of an 18-contest league schedule unquestionably makes it tougher to squeeze in games outside the ACC from January 1 through the end of the regular season.
That's reflected in a mere seven nonconference outings scheduled in calendar year 2013. Compare that with 22 just two seasons ago.
This season's last out-of-ACC-body experience will occur on Jan. 2. Several of those outings have special cache: Duke at Charlotte against Davidson and Xavier at Wake.
This will be the 25th meeting between Davidson and Duke during Mike Krzyzewski's 33-year tenure at Durham. The Wildcats have lost 23 straight in the series, but are usually competitive under much-respected coach Bob McKillop.
Xavier, which visits Winston-Salem, produced three former Demon Deacon head coaches - Bob Staak (1986-89), Skip Prosser (2002-07), and Dino Gaudio (2008-10).
There were slightly more than twice as many nonconference games played after Jan. 1, 2012 than will be undertaken in 2013. The latest in 2012 came on Jan. 28.
From 2009 through 2011, when ACC games were played in December, at least 20 non-league contests were scheduled after New Year's. (That's as far back as we went for illustrative purposes.)
Duke annually has played as late, or later, than anyone else. That meant games on Feb. 25 in 2010 and 2011. As far back as the late 1980s, the Blue Devils faced teams such as Kansas and Arizona in late February.
Krzyzewski often explained that late-season games against quality opponents outside the ACC gave him a quick read on his team's weaknesses, courtesy of strategic adjustments made by an unfamiliar coaching staff. Few other ACC coaches were willing to risk distraction or loss by undertaking a similar challenge.
|BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
Nonconference Games After January 1, Last 5 Seasons
|Year||Non-ACC||Â Latest Date||Most by School|
|2013||7||Jan. 2||1 by 7|
|2012||15||Jan. 28||3 by Duke|
|2011||22||Feb. 25||3 by Duke, Maryland|
|2010||20||Feb. 25||3 by Duke, Georgia Tech, NC State|
|2009||20||Feb. 19||3 by Duke|
|Nonconference Games January, February:|
|1/2||Duke@Davidson; FSU@Auburn; UTC@Georgia Tech;
|2012||15||1/1||ETSU@Clemson; Penn@Duke; Monmouth@UNC|
|1/2||Rhode Island@BC; UNCG@Miami; LSU@Virginia; Wofford@Wake|
|1/3||Alabama@Georgia Tech; Cornell@Maryland|
|1/4||Duke@Temple; Auburn@FSU; Delaware State@NC State|
|2011||22||1/1||BC@South Carolina; San Diego@NC State|
|1/2||Citadel@Clemson; Georgia Tech@Charlotte; St. Francis@UNC;
LSU@Virginia; Mt. St. Mary's@Virginia Tech; Gonzaga@Wake
|1/5||Harvard@BC; UAB@Duke; NC State@Elon; High Point@Wake|
|2010||20||1/2||Maine@BC; Georgia Tech@Charlotte; Seton Hall v. Virginia Tech|
|1/3||Maryland@UNCG; Miami@Pepperdine; Florida@NC State; Xavier@Wake|
|1/4||Texas A&M-Corpus Christi@FSU; UNC@Coll. Of Charleston|
|1/5||NJIT@BC; Georgia Tech@Georgia; Tex-Pan Am@Virginia|
|1/6||Iowa State v. Duke; Holy Cross@NC State|
|1/30||Duke@Georgetown; Kentucky St.@Georgia Tech; NCCU@NC State|
|2009||20||1/3||Â ECU@Clemson; Texas A&M-Corpus Christi@FSU; Georgia Tech @Alabama;
Charlotte@Maryland; NCCU@Miami; NC State@ Florida; Xavier@Virginia; Wake@BYU
|1/6||Alabama@Clemson; Georgia@Georgia Tech; Brown@Virginia|
|1/7||Harvard@BC; Davidson@Duke; Morgan State@Maryland; College of Charleston@UNC|