Teams: Syracuse Orange (16-16, 9-11) vs. Duke Blue Devils (26-5, 16-4)
Day & Time: Thursday, March 10, noon ET
Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Line: Syracuse are +14 underdogs via 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: 13-6, Duke
Current Streak: 6, 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: You probably forgot what happened after Duke ran out to a 14-0 lead. It eventually stretched out to a 30 point lead before the Blue Devils comfortably won 97-72.
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Jim Boeheim (46th year, 1,099-424) | Duke - Mike Krzyzewski (42nd season, 1,123–307)
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: UNC spoiled Coach K’s last game at Cameron Indoor Stadium with the Tar Heels shooting nearly 60% from the floor in the second half. Four Tar Heels scored 20 points or more as UNC shocked Duke, winning 94-81.
“Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: Paolo Banchero. Still a projected top three pick.
If Syracuse Wins: Oh, I’m so sorry we had to spoil your ACC Tournament retirement party, Coach K.
If Syracuse Loses: Well Syracuse would have won if Buddy could play.
Fun Fact: This is the seventh time that Syracuse plays an ACC team three times in one season. The Orange has only lost all three games once, back in 2015-16 to Pitt. On the bright side, that season turned out well.