Duke basketball: Details keep pouring in regarding 2020-21 schedule

Duke basketball forward Matthew Hurt (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Duke basketball forward Matthew Hurt (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

We now know the site for a few games of Duke basketball’s 2020-21 campaign.

The past week has been a positive sign for college hoops returning in 2020. Not only is the start of the season looking more and more like Nov. 21 — the Division I Council will vote on Wednesday to approve that date, according to Stadium insider Jeff Goodman — but also the venue for the Duke basketball team’s lone early-season tournament now appears to be set.

Per Jon Rothstein of College Hoops Today, the Battle 4 Atlantis, which the Blue Devils won in 2012 in their only appearance at the Bahamas-based tourney, will take place at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D. The arena reportedly plans to allow some socially distanced fans to see a field of Creighton, Duke, Memphis, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Utah, West Virginia, and Wichita State.

Not yet known, as Rothstein noted, are the dates for the event, originally on the calendar for Nov. 25-27. Also, the makeup of the three-round bracket is still a mystery.

What about plans for Duke basketball in the Champions Classic, etc.?

It’s plausible that the Battle 4 Atlantis could still begin on or around Nov. 25. And it could mark the 2020-21 Blue Devils’ second or third outing of the season.

After all, one might presume at this point that the Champions Classic, featuring Duke versus Michigan State and Kentucky versus Kansas this go-round, is still the leading contender to tip-off the entire season, maybe on Nov. 21 in Orlando. Another Disney-bubble priority, per Rothstein, is the ACC-Big Ten Challenge (matchups for that annual event are also not yet known).

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In what will be the 41st Duke basketball season under head coach Mike Krzyzewski — coming off a 25-6 campaign, which ended without a postseason due to pandemic concerns, and a final ranking of No. 11 in the AP Poll — a safe bet right now is that the Blue Devils and all others will wind up playing five or so fewer games in the regular season than they would in a typical year.

Whether or not any of those contests take place inside Cameron Indoor Stadium, well, that remains to be seen.

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