Duke basketball schedule: Blue Devils find a new opponent

Duke basketball (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball team won’t miss out on a final tune-up before ACC play.

On Wednesday, the Duke basketball program announced that its Saturday game against the Cleveland State Vikings would no longer take place due to positive COVID-19 tests among the scheduled opponent.

No worries. On Thursday, the official Twitter account of the No. 2 Duke Blue Devils (8-1) revealed that a new foe is on tap for Saturday and will tip in Cameron Indoor Stadium at 4 p.m. ET, the same time and location as the originally scheduled contest. Duke will face the unranked Loyola (Md.) Greyhounds (6-5) out of the Patriot League.

It’ll mark the final non-conference game on the Blue Devils’ schedule before their ACC slate begins with a Dec. 22 home game against the Virginia Tech Hokies.

Per GoDuke.com, folks who had tickets to the game against Cleveland State can use those tickets as well as their parking passes to get into the game against Loyola. Also, as was the plan for the game against the Vikings, the bout will air on the ACC Network.

A brief look at the new Duke basketball opponent

The Loyola (Md.) Greyhounds began their 2021-22 campaign with an 83-67 loss on the road versus the then-No. 19 UNC Tar Heels. Then on a neutral court, they came away with a 10-point victory over the South Carolina State Bulldogs, whom the Blue Devils dismantled by 41 points on Tuesday night.

After that, the Greyhounds dropped three straight games before winning five of their past six outings.

Duke is 2-0 in its all-time series against Loyola. The most recent matchup was on New Year’s Eve in 2008, resulting in a 92-51 Blue Devil home win.

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Before welcoming Loyola, the Duke basketball squad will host the unranked Appalachian State Mountaineers (6-5) at 7 p.m. ET Thursday (ESPN2).