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First Up: Northwest Missouri State

The Bearcats are fresh off of one of the greatest sports years any university at any level has ever had.

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Florida State v Duke
DURHAM, NC - FEBRUARY 28: Harry Giles #1 of the Duke Blue Devils and Michael Ojo #50 of the Florida State Seminoles go after a loose ball during their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 28, 2017 in Durham, North Carolina.
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Friday marks the first exhibition game for Duke and as Duke has done for several years, the opponent is the current D-II champions. This year, that’s Northwest Missouri State.

Last year, the Bearcats finished 35-1 and beat Fairmont State University 71-61.

They also won the D-II football title and the teams combined to go 50-1. Wow!

Northwest Missouri lost seniors Zach Schneider, Anthony Woods and D'Vante Mosby from the title team but returns D-II POY Justin Pitts and Chris Ebou Ndow.

Six upperclassmen return and so do three sophomores with national championship experience.

Duke will certainly be favored but the Bearcats have far more experience and that is important.

In Maryville, Missouri, hometown of the university, this is a huge deal. Folks are organizing watch parties and referring to Cameron as “historic.” Well it is, but it still seems like a living, breathing building, not a museum.

Anyway, their guys are excited and ready to play and there’s a solid group there. For Duke it should be a really useful team.

Coach K talked about this game to the N&O. He said this: “What it’s turned out to be for those schools is to celebrate again their national championship. I love it. I absolutely love it.”

That’s a really great sentiment to bring to a game.

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