Duke is playing Iowa in Madison Square Garden Tuesday night, where Duke likes to play once or twice a year. This if for at least two reasons: 1), there are plenty of Duke alums in the New York City metro area, and 2) New York means tons of media exposure.
And you could probably toss in the simple fact that the Garden has massive history for college basketball and basketball in general, even with the long-term mismanagement of the New York Knicks. They had a glorious era in the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s and Pat Riley did a nice job there when he was in the city but unfortunately the Bulls locked things up and the Knicks therefore had a limited ceiling.
The funny thing about Duke and New York is when St. John’s comes to Cameron, there is a palpable buzz second only to the Carolina buzz. It’s pretty much home week for our New York friends.
Anyway, the game starts at 9:30. It’s on ESPN which is now accessible in many ways - the traditional way, through cable/satellite, streaming via various providers like DirectTV and Spectrum, through a direct subscription via Disney and of course through Sling, which is an interesting, innovative platform in its own right.
Duke has played Iowa a few times over the years, mostly during in-season tournaments, and has had success against the Hawkeyes. The games against Iowa when Tom Davis was coaching were typically a lot of fun. They did come to Cameron in 1993 though (Duke won 65-56) and if you noticed our preview, you may remember that Murray Kenyon named his son, Kris, after his late teammate Chris Street. As it turns out, the Duke game was the last game Street ever played in: he died three days later in an accident with a snowplow in Iowa City.
Just as an aside, apart from Davis, Iowa has had an interesting coaching history. Lute Olson took the job in 1974 and not surprisingly, did a terrific job before fleeing back West to Arizona to escape the fishbowl that he inadvertently created. George Raveling succeeded him, then Davis took over, then Steve Alford and Todd Lickliter before McCaffrey assumed the job in 2010.
The Hawkeyes don’t get as much attention as some of the other Big Ten schools, possibly because it’s in a rural state which ranks 31st in population. And Iowa City is considerably smaller than, say, Cary, which is nearly 2.5 times as big.
As Olson found though, the fans love the team and follow it religiously. Win or lose, Duke fans should understand and appreciate that.