The where and when for Mike Krzyzewski’s historic final season as Duke’s coach is set.
The ACC announced the regular season schedules for all 15 teams on Thursday night, with Duke opening and closing its league schedule at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Krzyzewski, the sport’s all-time leader in coaching wins (1,170), announced in June this would be his final season as Duke’s coach. Associate head coach Jon Scheyer will become Duke’s head coach starting next season.
Included in Duke’s 20 ACC games this season are Krzyzewski’s final trips, as coach, to longtime league rivals North Carolina, Virginia, Florida State, Clemson and Wake Forest as well as road trips to relative league newcomers Syracuse, Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Boston College.
Duke’s non-conference schedule, previously released, includes a season-opening game with Kentucky on Nov. 9 as part of the Champions Classic doubleheader in New York. The Blue Devils also play last year’s NCAA tournament runner-up, Gonzaga, in Las Vegas on Nov. 26 and have a game at Ohio State on Nov. 30 in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
Duke opens ACC play Dec. 22 at home with Virginia Tech.
Krzyzewski’s final two regular-season games against the rival Tar Heels will be Feb. 5 at the Smith Center and March 5 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
His final ACC tournament coaching the Blue Devils will be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, from March 8-12.
Here’s a look at Duke’s entire schedule, with highlights:
Duke’s can’t-miss basketball game
The most anticipated game of the season will be Coach K’s final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium when the Blue Devils close the regular season against UNC on March 5. Already perennially one of the toughest tickets to obtain, this year’s game will be off the charts in that realm. At an August auction to support the V Foundation’s efforts to fight cancer, a package including three nights at the Washington Duke Inn with four seats behind the Duke bench for the game netted $1 million.
Toughest stretch for Duke
The ACC schedule makers did the Blue Devils few favors with a late January-early February stretch that includes a trip to Chapel Hill. Prior to facing the rival Tar Heels for the first time, Duke plays at Louisville on Jan. 29. The Blue Devils do get a full week to prepare to play UNC at the Smith Center on Feb. 5. But, two days after facing the Tar Heels, Duke has a home game against Virginia on Feb. 7.
Easiest stretch for Duke
Early January looks like a time for the Blue Devils to log a fast start in ACC play. Yes, Duke has back-to-back league road games on Dec. 29 at Clemson and Jan. 1 at Notre Dame. But the next four games include three home games with all four games against teams not projected to be among the league’s top four teams. Duke plays Georgia Tech on Jan. 4 and has another home game with Miami on Jan. 8. Yes the Yellow Jackets are the reigning ACC champions. But, no, they don’t have near the experienced talent they did last season. Duke heads on the road to play Wake Forest on Jan. 12 before returning home to face N.C. State on Jan. 15. That’s a close as it comes to a soft stretch in ACC play.
Duke basketball’s non-conference test
The Blue Devils open the season against Kentucky at New York’s Madison Square Garden, giving them a stern test from the top. But the toughest non-conference test comes a few weeks later. Duke plays Gonzaga on Nov. 26 at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena. Just four days later, on Nov. 30, Duke plays its first true road game at Ohio State in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. That two-game stretch will offer some answers about how good this Duke team will be.
at Ohio State
at Notre Dame*
at Wake Forest*
at Florida State*
at North Carolina*
at Boston College*
+ -- Champions Classic, Madison Square Garden, New York
# -- Continental Tire Challenge, T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
* -- ACC game