The headline game of the ACC-Big Ten challenge in December pits a couple of teams likely to be ranked the preseason top five.
The Duke Blue Devils will come to the Kohl Center in Madison on Dec. 3 to face the Wisconsin Badgers, the headline game of the three-day event.
While the Blue Devils will feature incoming freshmen Tyus Jones and Jahill Okafor, the Badgers return everyone but guard Ben Brust from this year’s Final Four team.
Wisconsin’s seven wins are the most by a Big Ten team in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, which began in 1999.
This will be Duke’s second visit to Madison. The Badgers beat the Blue Devils at the Kohl Center 73-69 on Dec. 2, 2009. The all-time series is just 1-1; Wisconsin lost at Duke in November 2007.
“We’re excited to welcome Duke back to the Kohl center,” coach Bo Ryan said in an athletic department news release. “I’ve known Mike Krzyzewski for a long time and have a lot of respect for him and his program. Excuse the play on words, but this will be a challenging matchup for us. We always try to put together a tough non-conference schedule that will get us ready for Big Ten play and this certainly fits that category. We have tremendous fans that fill the Kohl Center every game and it’s exciting to be able to reward them with a big-time matchup like this.”
While there are no official polls out for the 2014-15 season yet (but, hey, the season is only a little more than six months away), ESPN.com’s most recent preseason poll has Duke at No. 2 and Wisconsin at No. 4, the same rankings the teams have in CBSSports.com’s rankings.
Which means it’s a great pre-conference matchup for the fans and it will come at a time when the brouhaha over the new college football playoff should be percolating nicely.
The Blue Devils finished 26-9 in 2013-14, with their season ending with a stunning second-round loss to Mercer. The Badgers were 30-8 and lost to Kentucky in the national semifinals, only the program’s third Final Four appearance and its first since 2000.