Teams: Syracuse Orange (9-9, 3-4) vs. No. 6 Duke Blue Devils (14-3, 4-2)
Day & Time: Saturday, January 22, noon ET
Location: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, N.C.
Line: Will be updated morning of game from DraftKings (odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details).
TV/Streaming: ESPN, WatchESPN
Radio: Cuse.com, TK 99/105, WAER 88.3
Duke Blog: Duke Basketball Report
Rivalry: 11-6, Duke
Current Streak: 4, Duke
First Meeting: The two historically good programs met for the first time in the 1966 NCAA tournament during the Elite Eight. The No. 2 ranked Blue Devils advanced with a 91-81 victory over the Orange. George Hicker led the Orange with 17 points, with Jim Boeheim not far behind with 15 points himself.
Last Meeting: Syracuse got off to a horrid start against Duke last season with the Blue Devils shooting 10-18 from three in the first half. Four Duke players scored double-digit points, including a dominating double-double from Mark Williams resulted in an 85-71 Blue Devils victory.’
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Jim Boeheim (46th year, 1,092-418) | Duke - Mike Krzyzewski (42nd year, 1,111–305)
Coach Bio: Krzyzewski played his collegiate basketball at Army West Point under Bob Knight. After five years in the Army, Krzyzewski joined Knight at Indiana as an assistant for one season before taking the Army head coaching job. He then took the Duke head coaching job after five seasons at Army.
After Krzyzewski’s first three seasons, Duke has won at least 20 games and made the NCAA tournament every season except for one season and this past season. The other season was the 1994-95 campaign when Krzyzewski missed almost the entirety of ACC schedule to recover from surgery to fix a ruptured disk in his back. Krzyzewski is currently the winningest coach in collegiate basketball history with 1,184 career wins. Duke has won five NCAA tournaments under Krzyzewski and he’s earned three Naismith College Coach of the Year awards.
Krzyzewski was also the head coach of the USA national basketball team from 2005 to 2016. He led the United States to three straight Olympic gold medals from 2008 to 2016 and two straight FIBA World Championship gold medals from 2010 to 2014.
Last Year: Duke, by its standards, struggled last season. The Blue Devils saw their star recruit Jalen Johnson leave the program early and went on three separate three-game losing streaks. Duke finished 10th in the ACC with a 9-9 record, but rattled off two wins in the conference tournament to make the quarterfinals. However, the Blue Devils withdrew from the tournament after a positive COVID-19 test, ending Duke’s season.
Last Game: Duke and Florida State went blow for blow on Tuesday night, with the lead changing 19 times between the two teams. Eventually, Florida State’s vast bench helped buoy the scoring in overtime as Duke lost 79-78.
“Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: If you’ve somehow not paid attention to any other college basketball this season, allow me to introduce you to one of the top two projected picks in the upcoming NBA draft. Paolo Banchero has the physicality and skillset to take over a game by himself. He’s averaging 18.1 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game on scarily efficient shooting (50.7% from the floor and 34% from three).
If Syracuse Wins: Coach K should be required to give Coach Boeheim a gift when Duke comes to the Carrier Dome next month.
If Syracuse Loses: I, for one, welcome our new reality teetering on the edge of .500 the rest of this season.
Fun Fact: It’s a well known fact that all the Orange starters average double-digit points. It’s a little more than double-digits now as all five Syracuse starters now average over 12 points per game.