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Duke, Baylor to Battle at MSG on December 20

Courtesy Duke Athletics

Duke announced Monday that the men’s basketball team returns to New York City on Wednesday, Dec. 20 to battle Baylor at Madison Square Garden.

The non-conference matchup between two of the last eight national champions brings Duke back to the World’s Most Famous Arena where it has won six straight and seven of its last eight. The Blue Devils are 40-18 (.690) all-time at the current version of MSG and 75-28 (.728) all-time when playing in the greater NYC area.

“We are thrilled to bring our program back to New York and Madison Square Garden,” said head coach Jon Scheyer. “Baylor has established itself as one of the premier programs under Scott Drew and it will be an incredible test for our team. It’s also a tremendous opportunity for our fans to see us play in New York City. This arena and this city have always been special to Duke, and we’re excited for another chance to play at MSG.”

With the Baylor game, Duke will have played at MSG at least once in 10 of the last 11 seasons, in 20 of the last 22 years and 23 of the last 26. Current MSG has seen the sixth-most Duke wins (40) of any venue in the country, behind only Cameron Indoor Stadium, Greensboro Coliseum, Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, and former Duke home venues Card Gym and Duke Gym.

Duke and Baylor have met just once previously, a 78-71 win by the Blue Devils in the 2010 NCAA Tournament South Regional final at NRG Stadium in Houston. The win propelled Duke, led by Scheyer — then a senior captain, who scored 20 points with four assists and five rebounds versus the Bears — to the program’s fourth of five national titles.

The game versus Baylor adds to Duke’s non-conference slate that also includes previously announced marquee games versus Arizona (Nov. 10 in Durham), Michigan State (Nov. 14 in Chicago) and at Arkansas (Nov. 29 in Fayetteville). 

Duke was 27-9 in Scheyer’s first season as head coach, winning the program’s ACC record 22nd conference tournament title and reaching the NCAA Tournament for the 45th time in school history. The Blue Devils return four starters from the squad, led by senior guard Jeremy Roach, reigning ACC Freshman of the Year Kyle Filipowski and fellow sophomores Tyrese Proctor and Mark Mitchell.

Baylor, two seasons removed from winning the program’s first national title in 2021, is coming off a 23-10 season and an NCAA Tournament berth. Entering his 21st season as head coach, Scott Drew is 422-232 in his time at Baylor, which also includes an NIT title in 2013.

About Jerry Milani

Jerry Milani is a writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 30 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and as a freelance professional. His PR clients have included Wizard World and FAN EXPO, which produce pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America, USA Wrestling, the National Lacrosse League, Strat-O-Matic Media, the Pacific Life Open and Pilot Pen Tennis tournaments and dozens of others. Milani is also the director of athletic communications for Caldwell University. He is a proud graduate of North Rockland High School and Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at Jerry (at) JerryMilani (dot) com.

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