Duke Basketball has officially released the non-conference schedule for 2018-2019 Duke Basketball, though a noticable dropoff for games at home, which absolutely sucks for us Crazies and Crazies-In-Training.A few highlights:
Champion’s Classic: Kentucky
The Wildcats, yet again, lost a lot of talent last year and will be arguably younger than Duke is this year. However, John Calipari is almost (but not really) as ingenious at the GOAT himself at reloading and firing into the front lines of the college basketball race. Except, the beginning of the season is almost always rough for the Cats as they aren’t quite exposed to college basketball and need a veteran to groud them. Vets like Javin DeLaurier, Marques Bolden, and Antonio Vrankovic will be able to help out the Blue Devils.
You can read more here, but basically, it’s Duke, Arizona, and Gonzaga as the big guys here. Auburn and Xavier are good, but Xavier’s lost Chris Mack and their former star, Trevon Bluiett, and Auburn is good but no Duke. Don’t underestimate either team, but barring a loss, Duke will likely take on West Coast giants Arizona and Gonzaga in the Maui Invitational Championship. Then again, Arizona crashed and burned in the Battle 4 Atlantis last year, going 0-3 and Gonzaga gets minimal exposure until the postseason. Who knows?
I know a lot of Jayhawks fans. My family is comprised (on my dad’s side, at least) of Jayhawks fans, to whom I am grateful to for not rubbing in last year’s loss. And from what I’ve seen, these Red Raiders have given the Jayhawks a lot of trouble in the past. We’ll need to be wary here.
St. John’s. Sigh. Those guys have given Duke trouble for years. In 2015, they nearly beat us before Coach K garnered his 1000th win in Madison Square Garden, that being the only happy memory I can think of with St. John’s. Last year, the Red Storm beat us in MSG, a total embarrassment. I’ve got to be honest with you all, I hope we kick some behind in New York next year (no disrespect to St. John’s, who thouroughly kicked OUR behinds last year. Naturally, I was pretty unhappy and would like to return the favor).