Duke versus UConn set for December 18


Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most anticipated games on Duke’s non-conference schedule has been slated. UConn and Duke are set to play on December 18, 2014. Every game the two have played against each other have been on neutral sites, and that’s not about to change. The reigning national champions and Duke are playing at the Izod Center in the Meadowlands with an 8 p.m. ET tip off.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to play Connecticut at the IZOD Center next season,” said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “We have a strong fan base in the New York/New Jersey area and I am sure Connecticut will have great support as well. It is always special to play in front of terrific crowds and it should be an outstanding game between two talented teams. Connecticut is obviously coming off a championship season and has excellent personnel returning. Coach Ollie has done a terrific job running the program and we look forward to the challenge.”

Duke and UConn have faced off nine times, where Duke is on the winning edge, winning five times, but the Huskies have won when it mattered most: on the road to two of their four national championships.

In 1999, UConn narrowly escaped the Blue Devils for the National Title, winning 77-74. In 2004, the Huskies and the Blue Devils faced off in the Final Four, where UConn came away with the win.

The last time the two played each other was in 2009. Duke toppled UConn, with the final score of 68-59 in the Madison Square Garden.

Two of Duke’s star players from last season declared for the NBA Draft, but the Blue Devils are still in good hands. Three players with starting experience are returning, along with seven letter-winners. Senior Quinn Cook, junior Rasheed Sulaimon and sophomore Amile Jefferson are all coming off of successful seasons. Cook and Sulaimon combined to average 21.5 points and 6.8 assists last season. They also combined for 38.6 percent from behind the three-point line and 79.1 percent from behind the free throw line. Jefferson had the team-best shooting average with 64.4 percent. Junior Marshall Plumlee and sophomores Matt Jones and Semi Ojeleye are returning as well, coming off a season that gave them well-needed experience. Incoming are four freshmen: Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow, Jahlil Okafor and Grayson Allen. All four of them were named as McDonald’s All-Americans.

Tickets for this year’s game are set to go on sale on Friday at 10 a.m. They can be purchased on Ticketmaster or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Tickets can be purchased through the Izod Center Box Office, but those go on sale on Monday at 11 a.m.

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