The basketball schedule is slowly coming together and now we know the full preseason.
We’ve known about the trip to Canada for some time of course: Duke heads north in August to play three games between the 15th and the 19th.
Then when things get started for real, the Blue Devils will host two national champions: defending CIAA champs Virginia Union turn up on October 23rd before Ferris State, the D-II champs come in four days later on October 27th.
Then the real season starts in earnest on November 6th with a big-time game against Kentucky in the Champions Classic. The teams don’t actually play all that often, but the rivalry remains white hot, especially on the Kentucky side.
It’s not quite as one-sided as Duke-Maryland, where the Maryland fans had to commit to serious mayhem to show us they meant business and Duke fans still yawned.
Nonetheless, it is still much more important for Kentucky fans than it is for Duke. Christian Laettner did something fundamentally permanent to the UK psyche in 1992 and they’ve never gotten over it. Toss in John Calipari’s brittle nature and his passive/aggressive tendencies and you have the makings of an interesting game.