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Duke basketball schedule 2023-24: Michigan State, Arkansas among Blue Devils’ top nonconference opponents

Duke basketball schedule 2023-24: Michigan State, Arkansas among Blue Devils' top nonconference opponents

The Blue Devils have some intriguing matchups outside the ACC this season

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Duke opens up its 2023-24 basketball season in Durham, North Carolina, on Nov. 6 against Dartmouth before facing its first tough test of the season against Arizona on Nov. 10. The Wildcats feature former North Carolina transfer Caleb Love who is no stranger to playing in front of the Cameron Crazies. 

The Blue Devils are the No. 3 ranked team in the latest CBS Sports Top 25 and 1 and the only teams ranked ahead of Duke are Kansas and Purdue. Duke has national championship expectations heading into the season with Tyrese Proctor, Jeremy Roach, Mark Mitchell and Kyle Filipowski all returning to the fold. Duke also welcomes the 247Sport No. 2 ranked recruiting class from the 2023 cycle to campus.

The most intriguing game on the nonconference slate is a matchup with Michigan State on Nov. 14 in the Champions Classic. The other marquee game being played in the same building on that day is a battle of blue bloods between Kansas and Kentucky. CBS Sports previously looked ahead at the top nonconference games for the Jayhawks and Wildcats earlier this month.

Here are the Blue Devils’ top five nonconference games to look forward to this season

1. Michigan State

When: Nov. 14, 2023 Where: United Center (Chicago)

The top non-ACC game for the Blue Devils is a date with Michigan State at the Champions Classic. The Spartans have high expectations heading into the season and return three key starters from last season: A.J. Hoggard, Tyson Walker and Jaden Akins. Michigan State also welcomes one of the top recruiting classes in the country and the headliner of the group is five-star big man Xavier Booker. Despite Booker being raw as a prospect, the upside he possesses could make him a starter at some point this season. This will be a battle of guards and is one of the top college basketball games of the season.

2. Arkansas 

When: Nov. 29, 2023 Where: Bud Walton Arena (Fayetteville, Arkansas)

Arkansas coach Eric Musselman has been building something special in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks lost Anthony Black, Nick Smith Jr., Jordan Walsh and Ricky Council lV to the NBA and have a handful of new faces from the transfer portal ready to make an impact right away. One of those key newcomers is Louisville guard El Ellis, who averaged over 17 points per game. He is projected to start at point guard and should have an important role in Musselman’s offense. This is Duke’s only true road game in the nonconference slate and it will certainly be a hostile environment in the ACC/SEC Challenge. 

3. Arizona

When: Nov. 10, 2023 Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium (Durham, North Carolina)

Love’s return to Tobacco Road almost makes this game the best on the schedule. Duke fans are not so fond of the former North Carolina star who played a key role on the team that eliminated Duke at the 2022 Final Four in Coach K’s final game. Love attempted to transfer to Michigan this offseason and after some complications, he ended up out west to play for Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd. The Wildcats are fresh off one of the worst losses in NCAA Tournament history and they have arguably the toughest nonconference schedule in the nation that also includes games against Michigan State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Alabama and FAU.

4. Baylor

When: Dec. 20, 2023 Where: Madison Square Garden (New York)

Baylor is an interesting spot heading into the season. The Bears added one of the top scorers from the transfer portal in former Toldeo guard RayJ Dennis, who averaged nearly 20 points per game. The other projected starter in the backcourt is five-star freshman JaKobe Walker. Baylor returns one full-time starter and five total players that finished the 2022-23 season 23-11. One of the wildcards on the roster is Yves Missi, who reclassified up to join the Bears roster this season. Anytime you go against Baylor coach Scott Drew, it’s bound to be a tough matchup.

5. Hofstra

When: Dec. 12, 2023 Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium (Durham, North Carolina)

The Blue Devils get an early-season test when they play host to a Hofstra team that went 25-10 and 16-2 in Colonial Athletic Association. The Pride nearly reached the NCAA Tournament, but fell to UNC Willingham in overtime in the semifinals of the CAA Tournament. It’s hard to find a clear-cut fifth-best nonconference game on the roster, but this game should offer Duke one final tune-up before facing Baylor. Duke’s nonconference slate isn’t as loaded as years past and this experienced roster should head into ACC play with a very good record.

2023-24 Duke basketball schedule

Mon, Nov 6 Dartmouth Durham, North Carolina
Fri, Nov 10 Arizona Durham, North Carolina
Tue, Nov 14 vs. Michigan State (Champions Classic) Chicago
Fri, Nov 17 Bucknell Durham, North Carolina
Tue, Nov 21 La Salle Durham, North Carolina
Fri, Nov 24 Southern Indiana Durham, North Carolina
Wed, Nov 29 at Arkansas Fayetteville, Ark
Sat, Dec 2 at Georgia Tech Atlanta
Sat, Dec 9 Charlotte Durham, North Carolina
Tue, Dec 12 Hofstra Durham, North Carolina
Wed, Dec 20 vs. Baylor New York
Sat, Dec 30 Queens Durham, North Carolina
Tue, Jan 2 Syracuse Durham, North Carolina
Sat, Jan 6 at Notre Dame South Bend, Indiana
Tue, Jan 9 at Pittsburgh Pittsburgh
Sat, Jan 13 Georgia Tech Durham, North Carolina
Sat, Jan 20 Pittsburgh Durham, North Carolina
Sat, Jan 27 Clemson Durham, North Carolina
Mon, Jan 29 at Virginia Tech Blacksburg, Virginia
Sat, Feb 3 at North Carolina Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Wed, Feb 7 Notre Dame Durham, North Carolina
Sat, Feb 10 Boston College Durham, North Carolina
Mon, Feb 12 Wake Forest Durham, North Carolina
Sat, Feb 17 at Florida State Talahassee, Florida
Wed, Feb 21 at Miami Coral Gables, Florida
Fri, Feb 23 at Louisville Louisville, Kentucky
Sat, Feb 24 at Wake Forest Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Wed, Feb 28 Louisville Durham, North Carolina
Sat, Mar 2 Virginia Durham, North Carolina
Mon, Mar 4 at NC State Raleigh, North Carolina
Sat, Mar 9 North Carolina Durham, North Carolina
Tue, Mar 12-Sat, Mar 16 ACC Tournament Washington D.C.

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