Teams: Syracuse Orange (16-12, 8-7) vs. Duke Blue Devils (22-5, 10-4)
Day & Time: Wednesday, February 22,7 p.m. ET
Venue: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
Line: N/A just yet
Radio: Syracuse IMG Network, WAER 88.3, Sirius 93/XM 193
Duke Blog: Duke Basketball Report
Rivalry: 5-4, Duke
Current Streak: 1, Orange
First Meeting: The Orangemen lost what was virtually a home game to the excellently named Vic Bubas and Duke in the 1966 Elite 8 played at Raleigh Coliseum. The Blue Devils won 91-81, despite six players in double figures on the Syracuse side. Duke’s Jack Marin led all scorers with 22 points.
Last Meeting: There was a whole lot of trash and scrambling around at the end, but Syracuse pulled off a 64-62 stunner at Cameron Indoor that was essential to the Orange making it into the NCAA Tournament.
Head Coaches: SU: Jim Boeheim (41st Year, 1,001-354); Duke: Mike Krzyzewski (37th Year, 992-267)
Head Coach Bio: After playing for Bob Knight at Army, Coach K went into active duty and was eventually discharged. Once he returned to civilian life, he joined Knight’s staff at Indiana from 1974-75 before taking the head gig at his alma mater.
He made just one NIT berth in five years with Army, but got the Duke job in 1980 anyhow. Since arriving in Durham, Coach K and the Blue Devils have made the NCAA Tournament in all but four seasons (his first three, and 1994-95 when he left the team to have back surgery). K’s won five national titles, made 12 Final Fours and taken home the ACC Tournament crown 13 times.
Away from Duke, he’s won three gold medals as coach of the U.S. Olympic team. He’s also one of just two men’s college basketball coaches to win more than 1,000 games (Jim Boeheim obviously being the other). Coach K has 1,065 wins on his career with Army and Duke.
He’s also lost to Syracuse twice in hilarious fashion, and stole another one back in 2014, but that’s neither here nor there...
Last Year: Duke was talented once again, but could not repeat as champions. They’d fall to Oregon in the Sweet 16 and wound up 25-11 on the year. Their reward? A ridiculously good signing class.
Last Game: The Blue Devils continued playing no defense, this time against the Demon Deacons. Wake Forest lost 99-94, but shot over 50 percent from the floor. Duke’s saving grace was that they shot 59 (!!!) percent. Luke Kennard led the team in scoring, with 23.
"Fear Me, I've Killed Hundreds of Timelords": Kennard’s scoring 20 points per game, so he’s sort of tough to ignore. Oh, and he’s hitting over 45 percent of his three pointers (65-of-143) on the season. If he kills the zone from outside, there will be no surprise. He’s already a noted assassin there.
As a team, Duke has a deadly offense (121.5 points per 100 possessions per KenPom), and hits nearly 39 percent of threes. So if not Kennard, literally anyone else could kill us from beyond the arc, too. I’d bank on Grayson Allen, who is a little shit, but can also score points when he’s not tripping opponents.
If Syracuse Wins: We’re about as close to in as a team can get without actually being “in.” That’ll help offset the quality of that Virginia loss taking an utter nosedive since we beat them a few weeks back.
If Syracuse Loses: Things get EVEN HARDER, somehow. SU would have to go 2-0 at Louisville and vs. Georgia Tech to virtually lock up a tournament bid. A 1-1 split means at least one ACC Tournament win to make the NCAAs that much more likely.
Fun Fact No. 1: Jim Boeheim has been involved in all nine games between these two schools dating back to 1966. He scored 15 on 6-of-10 shooting in the Elite 8 loss to start the series. Boeheim was also an assistant for the 1971 team that won a nailbiter 74-72 over the Blue Devils. The rest of the matchups featured Jim as head coach.
Fun Fact No. 2: C.J. Fair did not commit a charge and Tony Greene should probably be refused service at any Central New York dining establishment.
Fun Fact No. 3: Despite averaging less than eight points per game on his career at Syracuse, Tyler Roberson has found a way to maul Duke on the offensive end. In three full games, he’s averaged over 17 points per contest. Roberson’s also cleaned up on the glass vs. Duke, including a 20-rebound effort in last year’s upset at Cameron.