Duke, Kansas Open Season with Top 5 Showdown in NYC

Tre Jones | Photo: Chris Summerville

No. 4 Duke vs No. 3 Kansas
When: Nov. 5 | 7 PM (ET)
Where: Madison Square Garden
Watch Live: ACCNX
Links: Blue Devil NetworkRadio Affiliates

Leading Off

  • No. 4 Duke opens its 115th season on Tuesday night with a marquee showdown versus No. 3 Kansas at Madison Square Garden in the State Farm Champions Classic.
  • The Blue Devils are riding a two-game winning streak in the Champions Classic and the team’s 5-3 record in the annual event is the best among the four Blue Blood programs.
  • A match-up between two of the four winningest programs in NCAA history, Duke and Kansas have met 12 times with the Blue Devils holding a 7-5 edge in the series.
  • Tuesday’s game marks the second consecutive season — and just the third time in school history — that Duke opens with a top-five matchup. Last season, No. 4 Duke beat No. 2 Kentucky, 118-84, in the Champions Classic in Indianapolis.
  • Duke is 38-23 (.623) in AP top-five matchups, including 32-18 (.640) under head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
  • The 2019-20 campaign marks the 40th season at Duke for the Blue Devils’ Hall of Fame head coach, where Coach K has won 1,059 games and five national championships.
  • Duke, Kansas and Gonzaga are the only programs to have won 25 or more games in each of the last 12 seasons. Duke reached the 30-win mark last season for the 15th time under Coach K, to extend an NCAA record.
  • Ranked No. 4 in the preseason AP poll, Duke is in the AP’s preseason top five for a seventh straight year. The Blue Devils will face five of the top 11 teams in the AP preseason poll this season.


Duke is 7-5 all-time versus Kansas, with each of the 12 previous meetings coming under Coach K…The teams have met at least once every three years since 2011 in the Champions Classic, and are next scheduled to clash in the Champions Classic in 2022…Since a 102-77 Duke win at Cameron Indoor in 1989, the last seven games in the series have been decided by a total of 40 points (5.7 per game), including the 2018 Midwest Regional final — an 85-81 KU win in overtime…The last meeting in the Champions Classic came at Madison Square Garden in 2017 — a 77-75 Kansas win.


Tuesday’s game at Madison Square Garden marks Duke’s 54th game at current MSG, and the Blue Devils are 35-18 in the venue (30-11 under Mike Krzyzewski)…Duke is 41-25 in all versions of MSG, dating back to a February 4, 1938, game versus St. John’s…Duke has played at least once at MSG in each of the last seven seasons, in 17 of the last 18, and 20 of the last 22…Duke is 69-27 all-time in the greater NYC area, including games in Brooklyn (7-1) and East Rutherford, N.J. (21-1)…MSG has seen the sixth-most Duke wins (35) of any venue in the country, behind only Cameron Indoor Stadium, Greensboro Coliseum, Reynolds Coliseum, and former Duke home venues Card Gym and Duke Gym…Coach K achieved a pair of milestones at MSG: His 903rd career victory to pass Bobby Knight as the winningest coach in NCAA Division I history (74-69 vs. Michigan State, 11/15/11) and his 1,000th career (77-68 vs. St. John’s, 1/25/15).


The Blue Devils are 37-2 in season openers under Coach K, and have won 19 consecutive…Duke’s previous two top-five matchups in season openers each came versus Kentucky — an 82-76 win in 1979 and last year’s 118-84 win.


November 5th marks the earliest start to a season in Duke’s history. The Blue Devils had never played a game earlier than November 8th — that was the 2013-14 season with a 111-77 win over Davidson at Cameron Indoor Stadium — before last season’s Nov. 6th win over Kentucky in the Champions Classic.


For a college team that has produced the second most current NBA players (24), Duke has been tough to beat when playing in NBA venues…Duke is a combined 84-30 (.737) in 11 current NBA venues, which includes a 35-18 mark at Madison Square Garden…The Blue Devils have won 15 of their last 18 at NBA venues, including a 118-84 win over Kentucky at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in last year’s Champions Classic, a 69-58 win over Texas Tech at Madison Square Garden last December, going 3-0 in the 2019 ACC Tournament at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, and the win over Virginia Tech in the 2019 Sweet 16 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C…The Blue Devils are back at MSG in two weeks for the 2K Empire Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project.


Duke is 232-151 (.606) vs. ranked teams under Coach K, with a 152-79 (.658) mark since the 1996-97 season…The Blue Devils were 10-5 against ranked teams in 2018-19, after going 6-4 versus ranked teams in 2017-18…Since 1996-97, Duke is 86-50 (.632) against ranked ACC teams and 66-29 (.695) vs. ranked non-league foes…Under Coach K, the Blue Devils are 85-61 (.582) overall when both teams are ranked in the top 10…Under Coach K, Duke is 32-18 (.640) when both teams are ranked in the top five…With the win over No. 3 Virginia on Feb. 9, 2019, Coach K broke a tie with Dean Smith for most wins in top three games (11).

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