Another marquee game has been added to the Duke basketball schedule, but no one will see it.
The non-conference schedule for the Duke basketball program is set.
Or is it?
Well, technically, it is, but there has been one modification.
According to Steve Wiseman of the Raleigh News & Observer, the Blue Devils and Villanova Wildcats will play in a closed-door scrimmage on October 23 in the Washington D.C. area.
Fans are not allowed to attend the game, nor will it be televised or broadcasted on radio, according to NCAA guidelines when Division I programs scrimmage against another Division I opponent.
Duke’s game against Villanova takes the place of its usual scrimmage against the Division II National Champions, Northwest Missouri State.
The Blue Devils will still have one public scrimmage at Cameron Indoor Stadium, October 30, against Winston Salem State.
Duke will also open the 2021-22 season with the return of Countdown to Craziness on October 15 in Durham as the regular season opens against the Kentucky Wildcats in the State Farm Champions Classic on November 9 at Madison Square Garden.
Duke basketball has brief history with Villanova Wildcats
Duke and Villanova have only played each other ten times in the storied history of the two programs, none of which since 2009.
However, the Wildcats got the best of the Blue Devils in their last meeting in the 2009 NCAA Tournament where Villanova dominated Duke, 77-54, in the Elite Eight.
Duke is 7-3 in the all-time series against Villanova as the Blue Devils had won the previous five games against the Wildcats prior to their postseason loss.
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Villanova, NCAA Tournament Champions twice since 2016, returns the Big East Conference’s Co-Player of the Year, Collin Gillespie, as the Wildcats are expected to be the heavy favorites to win the Big East entering 2021-22.
Duke is looking to return to the NCAA Tournament this season after missing the Big Dance for the first time since the 1994-95 season behind star freshman Paolo Banchero and sophomore standout Mark Williams, among others.