Under Mike Krzyzewski, Duke made it an annual habit to play a game in Madison Square Garden, which, along with the Palestra, is one of the spiritual homes of college basketball.
Looks like Jon Scheyer will continue that tradition: Jon Rothstein reports that the Blue Devils will head north on December 20th to play Baylor.
We don’t know about decades past, but Duke has played Baylor at least once: the teams met in the 2010 South Regional finals, with the Devils winning 78-71 on the way to Duke’s fourth national championship. Nolan Smith scored 29 in that one. Baylor was tougher than we expected and, in retrospect, Scott Drew was building what Coach K might call a hell of a program. It took him four years to get the Bears back over .500 after the Bastard Dave Bliss did unimaginably bad things while running that program, but Drew has built a powerhouse. Baylor has been consistently good under Drew.
When people talk about the best coach since Krzyzewski retired, Kansas coach Bill Self’s name is usually first but Drew has an argument. His 2020-21 national championship team was just devastating. And importantly, he really seems to do things the right way.
Playing Baylor should be fun and even if Duke loses, it will also be helpful. So put December 20th on your calendar. It’ll be fun.