Two of the biggest programs in college basketball have signed up for a home-and-home series that will start in 2023. Duke and Arizona announced on Monday a two-year series that will begin at Duke next year, then head to U of A in 2024.
The schools have met nine times, with six of those games in neutral-court settings. Arizona leads the series 5-4. The most recent meeting between the Wildcats and Blue Devils was 2013 at Madison Square Garden in the NIT Season Tip-Off, an Arizona win.
Duke will get hosting duties first, as Cameron Indoor Stadium will welcome the Wildcats on Nov. 10, 2023 — the first week of the 2023-24 season. Arizona will host the following season: Nov. 21, 2024.
“I have tremendous respect for Tommy Lloyd and Arizona,” Duke coach Jon Scheyer said in a statement. “For our team, I’m grateful for what I know will be important early season tests. For our fans and for college basketball, it will be exciting to see these storied programs over the next two years come together in two of the greatest on-campus venues in the sport.”
The programs have a combined six national championships, 82 NCAA Tournament appearances and 4,130 wins. The teams famously faced off in the 2001 national title game, which Duke won 82-72 to give coach Mike Krzyzewski and Duke their third national championship.
“Each of the last eight games played between the interconference rivals since 1988 have been Top 25 matchups, with six being Top 10 tilts,” according to Duke’s press release.
Arizona has only played at Cameron once, winning 78-76 over Duke on Feb. 25, 1990. That game featured two future Hall of Famers on the sideline: Arizona coach Lute Olson and Krzyzewski.
“We felt this was a great opportunity to play two games against an incredible program like Duke,” Lloyd said in a statement. “Both programs are national brands with a rich history and have played some memorable games against each other, especially in the NCAA Tournament. But Coach Scheyer and I both felt these games would benefit our programs and be something that our fans would be excited about.”
The move is a significant one for Duke, given that Krzyzewski, who retired in April after 47 years coaching, did not schedule nonconference on-campus/home-and-homes for the final 13 years of his career. While the Blue Devils did play the occasional noncon game on the road over the past decade-plus, those almost exclusively tied to the made-for-TV ACC/Big Ten Challenge (and not scheduled by Duke). Duke’s last out-of-league road game against a power-conference team in an on-campus venue that wasn’t tied to the ACC/Big Ten Challenge came against Michigan in December of 2008, an 81-73 Blue Devils loss.
With Scheyer now running the program, he is leaning a bit into a philosophy that many in the sport believe is paramount to college basketball’s viability and relevancy for the first six weeks of each season: get as many big-name programs playing each other in on-campus venues as possible. In terms of historical viewership, no team brings more cachet to this concept than Duke.
Duke vs. Arizona through the years
|Dec. 16, 1961||Duke 78, Arizona 47||Pittsburgh|
|Dec. 30, 1987||Arizona 91, Duke 85||Tucson|
|Feb. 26, 1989||Arizona 77, Duke 75||East Rutherford|
|Feb. 25, 1990||Duke 78, Arizona 76||Durham|
|Feb. 24, 1991||Arizona 103, Duke 96 (2OT)||Tucson|
|Nov. 26, 1997||Duke 95, Arizona 87||Lahaina|
|April 2, 2001||Duke 82, Arizona 72||Minneapolis (Final Four)|
|March 24, 2011||Arizona 93, Duke 77||Anaheim (Sweet 16)|
|Nov. 29, 2013||Arizona 72, Duke 66||New York|