Coach K retires and Duke’s scheduling philosophy suddenly changes. Coincidence?
Arizona and Duke have scheduled a home-and-home series starting in 2023, with the Wildcats heading to Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham next season and the Blue Devils coming to McKale Center in 2024.
“We felt this was a great opportunity to play two games against an incredible program like Duke,” UA coach Tommy Lloyd said in a news release. “Both programs are national brands with a rich history and have played some memorable games against each other, especially in the NCAA Tournament. But Coach Scheyer and I both felt these games would benefit our programs and be something that our fans would be excited about.”
The game dates are Nov. 10, 2023 in Durham and Nov. 21, 2024 in Tucson.
Arizona and Duke have only met nine times, the last in 2013 at the NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The UA won that meeting, as well as in the 2011 Sweet 16 when Derrick Williams dunked all over Duke.
Their most famous matchup came in the 2001 NCAA title game, which Duke won 82-72 in Minneapolis. You know, the one where Jay Williams got away with this:
Arizona hasn’t played at Cameron Indoor Stadium since 1990, when it lost 78-76. Duke has been the McKale twice, losing in 1987 and 1991.
Duke is entering its first season under Jon Scheyer, a former player who has taken over for the legendary Mike Krzyzewski. Coach K retired in April after 43 seasons with the Blue Devils as the winningest coach in NCAA history with 1,202 victories.
The Duke home-and-home is the second such marquee series Arizona has scheduled since Lloyd was hired to replace Sean Miller last year. The Wildcats host Tennessee this December in the return game of a home-and-home after losing in Knoxville last December.