Tag Archives: Blue Devil Nation

Duke to face Michigan State in ACC-Big 10 Challenge

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke and Michigan State will battle in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019 in East Lansing, Mich., as the matchups for the 21st edition of the event were unveiled Thursday by ESPN.

In a rematch from last season's Elite Eight, the Blue Devils and Spartans will meet for the fifth time in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Duke has won the previous four versus MSU in the event, and owns an 18-2 (.900) record all-time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, marking both the most wins and best winning percentage.

Duke and Michigan State have meet 15 times in the overall series, with the Blue Devils leading 12-3. Eight of the meetings have come since the 2010-11 season -- three in the Champions Classic (3-0) and twice in the ACC/Big Ten (2-0). MSU’s first win over Duke since 2005 came last season, 68-67, in the NCAA Tournament East Regional title game in Washington, D.C.

Time and network designation for next season’s game will be announced at a later date.

Duke and Michigan State each finished in the top 5 of the final AP poll for 2019, with the Blue Devils earning the program’s eighth final AP No. 1 ranking and the Spartans finishing No. 5.

2019 Big Ten/ACC Challenge schedule:

Monday, December 2

Miami at Illinois

Clemson at Minnesota

Tuesday, December 3

Duke at Michigan State

Michigan at Louisville

Iowa at Syracuse

Rutgers at Pitt

Florida State at Indiana

Northwestern at Boston College

Wednesday, December 4

Virginia at Purdue

Notre Dame at Maryland

Nebraska at Georgia Tech

Ohio State at North Carolina

Wisconsin at NC State

Wake Forest at Penn State

Matthew Hurt Joins Duke Brotherhood

A major Duke target, Matthew Hurt, announced this afternoon that he will be the newest Blue Devil.

The 6-9, 210 pounds, Minnesota native played his high school basketball for John Marshall in Rochester.

Hurt will join fellow Minnesota native Tre Jones who elected to return for his sophomore season.  It is believed that this helped in his recruitment.

Duke had been a favorite for the last several months and Hurt spurned Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina to play in Durham.

Hurt received 19 total offers but many teams fell to the wayside with him being a consensus five-star prospect.

The Blue Devils head coach, Mike Krzyzewski took a vested interest in Hurt's recruitment where he played.  Duke played the long game with Hurt, whom they knew would not make an early decision.

Duke assistant coach Jon Scheyer was the lead assistant in Hurt's recruitment.

The entire Duke coaching staff visited in-home with the Hurt family in early March.

The fact that four blue blood programs sought Hurt's services speaks volumes with concern to his talent.  A very skilled offensive player with size, Hurt is all but penciled into next years starting five.

Hurt was a mainstay on Team USA during his high school basketball career.   He was also named to the McDonald's All American game.  Hurt also garnered the Minnesota Mr. Basketball Award.

With Hurt on board, the Blue Devils will now turn their attention to Cassius Stanley, a high-flying, top-rated shooting guard from California.  He will make his decision this coming Monday.

Hurt joins Vernon Carey Jr., Wendell Moore Jr, and Boogie Ellis giving Duke one of the nation's elite recruiting classes.

 

 

Duke vs Michigan State – The Last Minute List

Can Tre Jones put together another great game? Or will the Spartans defense send him and his teammates home? A lot of questions will be answered tomorrow.

The Duke Blue Devils will take on the Michigan State Spartans with a trip to the Final Four on the line.  With the game just hours away, let's take a look at the matchup.

Forget the Past

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski has a gaudy record against Michigan State and Tom Izzo.  Duke leads the series 12-2 and has a 4-1 mark in the NCAA Tournament, but forget about it for that means nothing when the ball is tipped tomorrow.  These two teams have only one thing in common with the past and that is their uniforms and being two top-notch programs.  The record book means nothing.

Forty Minutes and maybe more

Duke must come out willing to play consistently.  The Blue Devils squandered some mild leads to hang on against Central Florida and Virginia Tech with lapses.  Whichever team is prepared to bring it end to end and the one with the best focus will enjoy a trip to the Final Four.  A season ago, the basketball Gods were unkind to a Grayson Allen tip in that rimmed out.  If you take care of your business it may not come down to that,

Respect your opponent

I doubt the Duke staff lets the team be overconfident.  If this does not happen, the team returns to Durham and some of the talented freshmen will soon be gone.  Teams must live in the moment and make the safe plays at times over the crowd-pleasing ones for the margin of error shrinks in tournament games, especially the Elite Eight.

Will Cam play?

Sure, Cam Reddish can knock down the three ball, but his defense is underrated.  His presence allows Duke to play the passing lanes in a more active manner and his long arms take up a lot of space.  Reddish is a game-time decision, but the team will need him.

The Spartans are Red Hot

Sparty is 10-1 in their last eleven games and they swept Michigan who most thought should be flip-flopped in their regions.  Obviously, the one and two seeds made it to the final in the East to nobody's surprise.  Duke is hot too after winning the ACC Tournament but they have looked quite mortal of late.  This game means the world to the Spartans fan base, but the same holds true for Duke and this is one of Mike Krzyzewski's best shots to make it back to the Final Four since 2015.

Duke Must Be Strong with the Ball

Michigan State plays stellar half-court defense where it seems like hands are everywhere.  When Duke is in its half-court offense they need to pay attention to having strong hands for if not, the turnovers will come.  In a game with this meaning, making safe plays outweighs the showtime style.

The Word is Out

In my preseason preview, I mentioned four possible weaknesses.  The first, of course, was injuries in that Duke is not especially deep with players ready for prime time.  The second was that they could struggle from the three-point stripe and third, free throw shooting would be important.  The fourth thing I listed was that teams with good guards and physical wings would give Duke trouble, especially if they hit the three ball.  Well, Michigan State fits the bill.  Duke must push them off the stripe and make them drive.

May the Stars be Stars

Zion Williamson has had an amazing season and he should touch the ball in every half court possession.  Good things happen when he gets the ball.  The same goes for RJ Barrett who is a flat out stat stuffer.  Michigan State has a lot of capable defenders to guard him, so his vision will play a key role.  Making the safe passes will make Duke more efficient and tougher to beat.

Board the Offensive Glass

Duke has not been especially good on the offensive glass of late and Michigan State is a solid rebounding team.  And they board from many positions with their activity.  Duke needs to block out and hustle for the loose balls in this contest.

Of course,  it will be tense...

This is a matchup of college basketball heavyweights.  The Big 10 Champ against the ACC Champ and that means there will be plenty of tense moments.  Duke has won their last two games by 2 points and they may have another game that comes down to the final buzzer.  Hey, whatever it takes, right?

How Fresh?

Mike Krzyzewski mentioned that his team was fresh coming into the D.C. regional or fresher was his exact term.  Does that still hold true after the late game where the team got little rest?  It will probably depend on how the staff handles this evening before the 5:05 start.

What will happen?

Who knows, but it will be a battle of styles.  Duke will try to get out and press some while Michigan State will lean heavily on the three ball while hitting the board with their usual reckless abandon.  Can Duke get back to more dominating performances?  Will Michigan State play lights out ball to end the pain of their past against Duke?  It will come down to heart and soul and playing a good forty minutes of basketball.

X-Factor

The X-Factor could be an unexpected player stepping up and whether Duke is with or without Cam Reddish, their whole roster needs to play well.  The problem with the X-Factor is that it can work both ways and players who step up become heroes.

The Last Word

Do not look ahead.  Be in the moment and you may cut down the nets as the Eastern Regional Champs.  Texas Tech upset Gonzaga and awaits the winner, but that is to be discussed once the business at hand is accomplished.

 

Tre Jones Monster Game Leads Duke to Elite 8

The Virginia Tech Hokies take on the Duke Blue Devils during the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regional Semifinals at Capital One Arena on March 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Lance King/BDN)

Tre Jones scored 22 points to go with 8 assists including shooting 5-7 from the three point stripe to help lead Duke to a win.  The Blue Devils will face Michigan State on Sunday.