Duke basketball often plays one of the most grueling non-conference schedules in college hoops. A rival for that mantle: Gonzaga.
Next year, the two powers have a date in the desert. Thanksgiving week is typically one of the first big ones on the college basketball calendar. Duke vs. Gonzaga will be one of the headliners for that week next year.
The Blue Devils and Bulldogs are set to face off on Friday, Nov. 26—the day after Thanksgiving this year—at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“We are excited to play in Las Vegas next season against such a great program,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a release by the school. “We have a tremendous amount of respect for Gonzaga and the program Mark Few has built there. The results speak for themselves. Certainly, this will be a showcase game during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and we are honored to be part of it.”
BIG LIGHTS 🍿👀💡
— Duke Men’s Basketball (@DukeMBB) March 5, 2021
The announcement confirms a February report by Jon Rothstein. The two teams last met up in the 2018 Maui Invitational final, an 89-87 Zags win.
It was the first win for Gonzaga in the short history between these two programs. Duke won games at Madison Square Garden in 2007 and 2010, and in the 2015 Elite Eight at NRG Stadium in Houston.
“We have nothing but the utmost respect for Coach K and Duke,” Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said of the matchup. “We look forward to playing in an exciting event in a world-class facility, that will get the focus to college basketball between two great teams early in the season.”
Few’s Bulldogs are the undefeated, No. 1 team in the country, and the favorite to win the 2021 NCAA Tournament, which would be the culmination of an amazing two-decade run for the WCC powerhouse. If they win it all, that November game would probably be an incredibly hot ticket.