Syracuse will play in front of 35,446 fans in the Carrier Dome when they meet Duke for the first time in ACC play. Here is a quick look at the game:
GREAT COACHES, GREAT FRIENDS: When Duke plays Syracuse on Saturday evening at the Carrier Dome, fans will be witnessing two coaches with remarkable legacies. Coaches Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim rank 1 and 2, respectively, in Division I history in wins, combining for more than 1,800 victories. The two have had a long standing relationship, and Boeheim has been on Krzyzewski’s coaching staff for the last two United States men’s basketball summer Olympics teams that won gold. “Working the Olympics and the World Championships with him over the years, we’ve spent a lot of time together, many months together,” Boeheim said during his ACC teleconference call this week. “Coaching, it’s a competitive field. You’re not going to have a lot of friends in coaching, because you’re trying to beat each other’s brains out. But it’s good to have a really good friend in coaching.”
SCOUTING THE BLUE DEVILS: The game will feature two of the elite freshmen in the country in Duke’s Jabari Parker and SU’s Tyler Ennis. Parker is averaging 18.8 points and 8.1 rebounds, which ranks him second in scoring and third in rebounding in the ACC. He’s also notched ACC Freshman of the Week honors five times. Sophomore guard Rodney Hood is second on the team in scoring at 17.4 ppg and is shooting at a 44.8 percent clip from downtown. The Blue Devils have struggled on the defensive end this season, and are giving up 66.5 points per game, ranking just 79th in the NCAA.
HISTORICALLY SPEAKING: The teams have met four times in school history, each splitting two games. The last time two teams met was in the 1998 NCAA tournament, with the top-seeded Blue Devils knocking out the fifth-seeded Orangemen in the Sweet 16, 80-67. Todd Burgan led Syracuse in the loss with 20 points.
GAME INFORMATION: Saturday, Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Carrier Dome. TV: ESPN.