Marquee home-and-home matchups are rare in college basketball, but we’re about to get a couple of good ones in the coming years, thanks to Duke and Arizona.
The two premier programs announced on Monday that they will meet in a home-and-home series starting in 2023. Duke will host the Wildcats at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Nov. 10, 2023 before making a return trip to Tucson on Nov. 21, 2024.
Arizona and Duke have met nine times in the past, most notably in the national championship game in 2001. Duke won that important meeting, but the all-time series lead belongs to the Wildcats, 5-4.
Arizona won the last matchup against the Blue Devils at the 2013 Preseason NIT and also upset Duke in the Sweet 16 of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Over three decades ago, these teams split a home-and-home series, with Duke winning at Cameron in February 1990 and Arizona holding down the fort at the McKale Center the following year.
Considering Duke has not played an on-campus, non-conference home-and-home series in a while, and the fact both of these programs are among the elite nationally, the college basketball world is understandably excited about today’s announcement.
Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, Duke engaged in numerous on-campus home-and-home matchups, against the likes of Michigan, UCLA, Arizona and others. If this becomes a tradition again under new head coach Jon Scheyer, it will be a welcome change.
Also, it will be tremendous added exposure for a renowned Arizona program that sometimes gets underappreciated since it is out on the West Coast and in the Pac-12.