Rob Kinnan- USA Today Sports

Duke strengthens non-conference schedule


Duke’s non-conference schedule isn’t going to be easy. In April, they scheduled the defending national champion, UConn. Now Duke has scheduled the University of Wisconsin, who lost in the Final Four this season.

“I’ve known Mike Krzyzewski for a long time and have a lot of respect for his program,” said Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan in a statement. “Excuse the play on words, but this will be a challenging matchup for us.”

It gets harder. Duke is playing at the Kohl Center, Wisconsin’s home arena. The game is slated for December 3. Wisconsin also loses just one of their starters from last season, where Duke loses two.

Duke does have history on its side. Since the ACC-Big Ten Challenge started, Duke has won 13 of the 15 matchups. They’ve won the past two games in the Challenge, beating Ohio State in 2012 and Michigan in 2013.

However, both of their losses come away from Cameron Indoor. They lost at Ohio State in 2011. They also lost at Wisconsin, in the Kohl Center, back in 2009.

Another perk for the Blue Devils? That would be their recruiting class. Duke brought home the best recruiting class for the 2014-2015 season with Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow and Grayson Allen.

This game is easily the most anticipated game of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. For preseason rankings, Duke sits at No. 2 and Wisconsin trails at No. 4.

With Duke scheduling UConn and Wisconsin, there’s no telling who else will fall into next season’s schedule.

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Tags: ACC-Big 10 Challenge Basketball Duke Blue Devils Featured Popular Wisconsin Badgers