You have to hand it to the champs, they’re not planning on taking it easy the year after winning it all. They have one of the toughest schedules next season. They’ll face 13 teams that were in last year’s NCAA Tournament, including two Final Four teams.
DUKE 2010-2011 SCHEDULE
While teams like Princeton, Miami (Ohio) and Colgate are no pushovers, the Blue Devils should have little problem taking care of business against their first three opponents.
The Devils then head to Kansas City to participate in the CBE Classic. They’ll take on Marquette in the opening round. The Golden Eagles will be the first of the 13 tournament teams from last year that Duke will face.
If they win, they’ll take on the winner of Gonzaga/Kansas State. Both teams should be ranked next year. The Wildcats could be a top-10 team.
A while ago, Coach K began a tradition at Duke that basically says that any scholarship player will get to play at least once in his home state. Since Kyle Singler joined Duke, the Blue Devils had failed to visit the state of Oregon.
No more. Duke will take on the Oregon Ducks in Portland after Thanksgiving.
Next up potentially is the game of the year. Duke heads home for the ACC/Big-10 Challenge where they will take on Michigan State. The Devils and Spartans should be ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in all pre-season polls.
More importantly (at least to the Cameron Crazies) is that Michigan State could be the team that ends Duke’s record-breaking non-conference home winning streak. By the time the Spartans show up, that streak should be at 79 games.
That’s a brutal start to the season, but after taking on one Final Four team from last year, they head to Cameron North (East Rutherford, NJ) to take on the Butler Bulldogs for a rematch of last year’s title game.
Over the next three weeks, Duke will host some cupcakes before finally heading into conference play. They’ll play the usual characters, Maryland twice, North Carolina twice and NC State twice. They’ll take on Virginia Tech only once and it will be at Blacksburg.