Walk-on ______ and junior Nolan Smith are enjoying New York City's sites before getting ready to face Arizona State tonight at 9:30 p.m.

I will be at Madison Square Garden tonight along with The Chronicle's Dan Ahrens as the No. 7 Blue  Devils take on Arizona State University in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off. Be sure to keep an eye on our live blog and Twitter (@chroniclesports) throughout the game!

A few pregame notes:

1. Nolan Smith has personally dedicated tonight's game to Abe Pollin, the longtime Washington Wizards owner who died at 85 yesterday. A few of the guard's thoughts from his Twitter account (@ndotsmitty):

  • "RIP Mr. Pollin!! ýou will be missed by many!"
  • "Abe pollin was a great man!! I first met him when my dad was with the washington bullets! He was amazing then, and he has always been that!"
  • "Tommorows game at Madison Square Garden will be dedicated to #ABEPOLLIN by myself!"

2. Starting at center for the Sun Devils is former Duke center Eric Boatengwho transferred after his freshman season.

3. Duke Blue Planet (@DukeBluePlanet) has provided a number of great updates about Duke's trip in New York so far.

  • Here are some photos of Duke enjoying its time in New York.
  • The Blue Devils had a visit from Bobby Knight, college basketball's all-time winningest coach . Click here to see the photos.
  • As Duke Blue Planet noted, "This is 25th year of Preseason NIT. Do you know who won first tourney in 1985? DUKE BLUE DEVILS."
  • The Blue Devils are on a mission to get a couple of quality wins early in the season. In the words of Duke Blue Planet: "The Times Square views and the Garden's bright lights are nice but here's what we've come for.. http://twitgoo.com/5a8u8"

4. It sounds like the Blue Devils have had their share of good food on the trip so far. According to walk-on Casey Peters' Twitter (@Casey_Peters), the Blue Devils ate at Tavern on the Green on 67th Street and the juniors went on an excursion for some cheesesteaks. Duke Blue Planet also showed the team's sundae bar after a team meeting. Duke fans better hope the team isn't too stuffed to play!

asdadsffa (Photo Courtesy of Duke Blue Planet)