Duke basketball opens season with two home games as Coach K chases more history

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski waves to the crowd as he holds one of the nets cut down after the Blue Devils won last year’s ACC Men's Basketball Tournament.
Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski waves to the crowd as he holds one of the nets cut down after the Blue Devils won last year’s ACC Men's Basketball Tournament. cliddy@newsobserver.com

Mike Krzyzewski needs two wins to reach another coaching milestone and he’ll take a run at it the first weekend of Duke’s next basketball season.

The Blue Devils will open the season Nov. 10 at home with Elon before playing Utah Valley Nov. 11. If Duke wins both games at Cameron Indoor Stadium, Krzyzewski will have 1,000 wins as Duke’s coach.

Already the all-time wins leader among NCAA Division I men’s basketball coaches, Krzyzewski enters his 38th season at Duke with a 1,071-330 overall record including his five seasons at Army. Krzyzewski is 998-271 with the Blue Devils.

According to the NCAA, no Division I men’s coach has 1,000 wins at the same school. Jim Boeheim has technically won 1,004 games at Syracuse, but the school vacated 101 of those wins due to NCAA violations.

This will be the eighth consecutive season Duke and Elon play in men’s basketball and their 25th meeting overall. Duke and Utah Valley have never played.

The Wolverines, from the Western Athletic Conference, come to Cameron on the back half of what Utah Valley is calling the toughest 24 hours in college basketball history.

Utah Valley opens Nov. 10 at Kentucky before playing the Blue Devils the next night.

“This is what college basketball is supposed to be," Utah Valley coach Mark Pope said in a statement Thursday. "We couldn't be more excited to go out and play two of the best teams in the entire country in a 24-hour period. Our goal is to be the best team we can possibly be at the end of the season. We had great success with that last year and part of doing that is putting together the hardest non-conference schedule we can and we've accomplished that."

Pope played on Kentucky’s 1996 NCAA championship team. One of his assistants, Chris Burgess, played at Duke from 1997-99.

Also Thursday, ESPN announced the games for this year’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge. After being home for five of the last seven years in the series, Duke will play at Indiana either Nov. 28 or 29.

The game’s exact date will be determined later this year. Duke is hoping for the Nov. 29 date since the Blue Devils are already scheduled to play in the PK80 Tournament at Portland, Oregon, on Nov. 26.

With these three games now known, Duke’s non-conference slate is more in focus.

After playing Elon and Utah Valley Nov. 10 and 11, Duke travels to Chicago to play Michigan State in the Champions Classic at the United Center.

In the PK80 Phil Knight Invitational tournament at Portland, Duke opens with Portland State on Nov. 23. The Blue Devils will play either Butler or Texas on Nov. 24. After a day off, the tournament concludes on Nov. 26 when Duke’s possible opponents include Florida, Stanford, Gonzaga or Ohio State.

The team would then travel home before heading back out to play at Indiana.

The following weekend, Duke plays South Dakota at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The only other known non-conference game is Feb. 3 against St. John’s at New York’s Madison Square Garden. That will be Duke’s only regular-season appearance in New York this season.

The ACC Tournament returns to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in March.

Duke had hoped to schedule another non-conference game in New York in December. But those plans have been scuttled because it’s possible the Blue Devils could have as many as two ACC games in December this year.

The ACC schedule has yet to be completed but Duke’s opponents are known.

The Blue Devils will play home and road games against North Carolina, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh.

Duke has home games only with Florida State, Virginia, Louisville, Syracuse and Notre Dame.

Duke’s ACC road games only are against Miami, Georgia Tech, Clemson, NC State and Boston College.

Steve Wiseman: 919-419-6671, @stevewisemanNC