In what will be looked at or billed as a “revenge” game, the Duke Blue Devils will face off against The Utah Utes this upcoming season on December 19th.
Now you might ask what would be the significance of a non-conference game before Christmas in the middle of December? Well besides the fact that Duke defeated Utah in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament in March 63-57, oh and the game being played at the Mecca of live sporting events Madison Square Garden not too much I guess!
Utah’s Head Coach Larry Krystkowiak mentioned a “surprise” in the Utes’ schedule for the upcoming 2015-16 season during his appearance Monday on ESPN 700 in Salt Lake City according to Kyle Goon the Salt Lake City Tribune. This will a nationally televised game on either
ESPN or ESPN2 which also makes this game a big deal.
As far as the revenge factor of this game goes, the Utes will be facing a Duke squad that will look quite different the team they faced during March Madness.
Center Jahlil Okafor, point guard Tyus Jones and shooting guard Justise Winslow are all headed to the pros and are expecting to be drafted later this month. Even Utah has suffered at the hands of the NBA draft seeing there point guard from last season Delon Wright who was a key piece in Utah’s run last season declare as well.
Though a lot of the major components from the previous matchup will not be on the court come December, the Dukies still look to be in good shape sporting the top recruiting class in the nation coming into the ’15-16 season.
Utah has some good returning talent in the likes of Big man Jakob Poeltl, as well as guard Brandon Taylor and forward Jordan Loveridge.
Now this wouldn’t be the first time these two programs have faced off in MSG. But you’d have to go way back to the 1970 NIT tournament where Utah was able to pull out the 78-75 victory over Duke.
One thing is for sure that this will be one of the big early season matchups and you can also bet your lunch money that Dickie V will be somewhere nearby screaming “AWESOME BABY”!