Teams: Syracuse Orange (16-16, 9-11) vs. Duke Blue Devils (26-5, 16-4)
Day and time: Thursday, March 10, noon ET
Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
Television/Broadcast: ESPN, WatchESPN
Duke Blog: Duke Basketball Report
Rivalry: 13-6, Duke
Current series: 6, duke
First meeting: The two historically good programs first met in the 1966 NCAA Tournament in the Elite Eight. The No. 2-ranked Blue Devils advanced with a 91-81 win over Orange. George Hicker led the Orange with 17 points, with Jim Boeheim not far behind with 15 points himself.
Last meeting: You probably forgot what happened after Duke took a 14-0 lead. He eventually stretched to a 30-point lead before the Blue Devils won comfortably 97-72.
Head Coaches: Syracuse – Jim Boeheim (46th year, 1099-424) | Duke – Mike Krzyzewski (42nd season, 1,123–307)
Coach Biography: Krzyzewski played his college basketball at Army West Point under Bob Knight. After five years in the Army, Krzyzewski joined Knight in Indiana as an assistant for one season before taking over as Army head coach. He then took over as Duke’s head coach after five seasons in the military.
After Krzyzewski’s first three seasons, Duke has won at least 20 games and made the NCAA Tournament every season except one season and last season. The other season was the 1994-95 campaign when Krzyzewski missed nearly the entire ACC schedule recovering from surgery to repair a ruptured disc in his back. Krzyzewski is currently the winningest coach in college basketball history with 1,184 career wins. Duke won five NCAA tournaments under Krzyzewski and he won three Coach of the Year awards at Naismith College.
Krzyzewski was also the head coach of the United States national basketball team from 2005 to 2016. He led the United States to three consecutive Olympic gold medals from 2008 to 2016 and two medals gold medals at the FIBA World Championships from 2010 to 2014.
Last year: Duke, by his standards, struggled last season. The Blue Devils saw star rookie Jalen Johnson leave the program early and went on three three-game losing streaks. Duke finished 10th in the ACC with a 9-9 record, but picked up two wins in the conference tournament to advance to the quarterfinals. However, the Blue Devils pulled out of the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19, ending Duke’s season.
Last match: UNC ruined Coach K’s final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium with the Tar Heels shooting nearly 60 percent from the floor in the second half. Four Tar Heels scored 20 or more points when UNC shocked Duke, winning 94-81.
“Fear Me, I’ve Slain Hundreds of Time Lords”: Paolo Banchero. Still a projected top three.
If Syracuse wins: Oh, I’m so sorry that we had to ruin your ACC Tournament retirement party, Coach K.
If Syracuse loses: Well, Syracuse would have won if Buddy could have played.
Fun fact: This is the seventh time Syracuse has faced an ACC team three times in one season. The Orange have only lost all three games once, in 2015-16 against Pitt. On the bright side, this season has gone well.