Mason Plumlee and the Blue Devils will open the season on Nov. 9. Credit: CHUCK LIDDYfirstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, after months of releasing it in pieces, Duke has revealed the final version of its 2012-13 mens basketball schedule. Not much new here, but there are a few dates and opponents that hadn't previously been announced:
Fri., Nov. 9: Georgia State at Duke, 7 p.m., ESPNU
Tues., Nov. 13: Duke vs. Kentucky (Georgia Dome, Atlanta), TBD
Sun., Nov. 18: Florida Gulf Coast at Duke, 8 p.m., ESPNU
Tues., Nov. 22: Duke vs. Minnesota (Nassau. Bahamas), 3:30 p.m., AXS
Wed., Nov. 23: Duke vs. VCU/Memphis, (Nassau. Bahamas), 7 p.m., NBCS
Thurs., Nov. 24: Battle 4 Atlantis championship, 9:30 p.m., NBCS
Wed., Nov. 28: Ohio State at Duke, 9:30 p.m., ESPN
Sat., Dec. 1: Delaware at Duke, TBD
Sat., Dec. 8: Duke vs. Temple (Izoid Center, New Jersey), 3:15 p.m., ESPN
Wed., Dec. 19: Cornell at Duke, 7 p.m., ESPNU
Thurs., Dec. 20: Elon at Duke, 7 p.m., ESPNU
Sat., Dec. 29: Santa Clara at Duke, noon, ESPN2
Wed., Jan. 2: Duke vs. Davidson (Charlotte), 7 p.m., ESPN2
Sat., Jan. 5: Wake Forest at Duke, 12 p.m., ESPNU
Tues., Jan. 8: Clemson at Duke, 7 p.m., ESPNU
Sat., Jan. 12: Duke at N.C. State, 12 p.m., ESPN
Thurs., Jan. 17: Georgia Tech at Duke, 9 p.m., ESPN/ESPN 2
Wed. Jan. 23: Duke at Miami, 7 p.m., ESPN
Sat., Jan. 26: Maryland at Duke, 1 p.m., CBS
Wed. Jan. 30: Duke at Wake Forest: 8 p.m., ACC Network
Sat., Feb. 2: Duke at Florida State, 2 p.m., ESPN
Thurs., Feb. 7: N.C. State at Duke, 9 p.m., ESPN
Sun., Feb 10: Duke at Boston College, 6 p.m., ESPNU
Wed., Feb. 13: North Carolina at Duke, 9 p.m., ESPN
Sat., Feb 16: Duke at Maryland, 6 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2
Thurs., Feb. 21: Duke at Virginia Tech, 9 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2
Sun. Feb. 24: Boston College at Duke, 2 p.m., ACC Network
Thurs., Feb. 28: Duke at Virginia, 9 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2
Sat., March 2: Miami at Duke, 6 p.m., ESPN
Tues., March 5: Virginia Tech at Duke, 7 p.m., ESPNU
Sat., March 9, Duke at North Carolina, 9 p.m., ESPN
First impressions: Duke will be tested right out of the gate. With November matchups against Kentucky and Ohio State, and a potential date with Louisville looming in the Battle 4 Atlantis final, the Blue Devils will get an early season test against several programs expected to start the year in the top 10.
The five December games will provide a nice change-of-pace in between the tough beginning and conference play, and the rematch with Temple is intriguing. When No. 5 Duke lost 78-73 to unranked Temple Jan. 4, it ended several notable Blue Devils streaks, including 18 consecutive wins against Atlantic 10 opponents (dating back to 1996) and 49 straight wins against teams outside the traditional six power conferences. It also marked the fourth consecutive season that Duke had lost to an unranked nonconference opponent.
Toughest stretch: It could be that early season trio mentioned above. Looking at the ACC schedule, though, Duke was dealt a pretty favorable hand. There's just one Thursday-Saturday, three-day turnaround, and one instead of two dates with last year's ACC champion, Florida State.
That said, the Feb. 2 trip down to Tallahassee followed by a Feb. 7 home date against N.C. State will probably be the toughest back-to-back conference challenge. The Feb. 10 trip up to Boston College is well-timed, giving Duke a tune-up before the first matchup against North Carolina.
Make up ground: Hosting Wake Forest and Clemson to open conference play should get the Blue Devils off on the right stretch. And the three games immediately following the Feb. 13 game with North Carolina—at Maryland, at Virginia Tech and against Boston College—is Duke's only three-game stretch against teams with losing conference records last year.
Lucky break: There will not be another Michael Snaer buzzer-beater this year in Cameron. Just one matchup with Florida State is a scheduling gift. The other one-game opponents—Georgia Tech, Clemson—are teams Duke probably wouldn't mind playing twice. Especially the Yellow Jackets.
Biggest quirk: The Feb. 13 game against the Tar Heels is the latest ever date for the first meeting between the two teams. That's right, going back all the way to 1920, Duke and UNC have never waited that long to play.