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Michigan State, Kansas headline Duke men's basketball's finalized nonconference schedule

Tre Jones, Duke's likely leader on the court next season, now knows his nonconference opponents.
Tre Jones, Duke's likely leader on the court next season, now knows his nonconference opponents.

Over the past two seasons, Duke has suffered two excruciating Elite Eight losses within four points—to Kansas and Michigan State, respectively.

The Blue Devils will face both those teams in their finalized non-conference schedule this season.

In addition to the Jayhawks and Spartans, head coach Mike Krzyzewski's squad will participate in the Empire Classic at Madison Square Garden and will host fellow 2019 NCAA tournament teams Wofford and Georgia State at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke's full nonconference schedule was announced by the team earlier this afternoon:

The Blue Devils' season will open Nov. 5 with a 2018 Elite Eight rematch against Kansas in the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden. And according to ESPN's way-too-early top 25 for next season, fans could be seeing another top-5 matchup featuring Duke to open up the year. In last season's Champions Classic, then-No. 4 Duke throttled then-No. 2 Kentucky 118-84. 

Less than a month after they take on Kansas in their season opener, the Blue Devils will head to East Lansing to battle Michigan State in the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge in another potential top-5 matchup. The Spartans defeated Duke in a 68-67 Elite Eight thriller this past March, but head coach Mike Krzyzewski remains 11-2 all-time against Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo. Duke blew out Indiana 90-69 at Cameron Indoor Stadium in last year's Big Ten/ACC Matchup.

The Empire Classic at Madison Square Garden remains the other highlight of the Blue Devils' non-conference slate, with Tre Jones and company facing off against California in the first round of the four-team tournament. A victory over the Golden Bears would pit Duke against the winner between Georgetown and Texas the following day.

Colorado State, Central Arkansas, Georgia State, Stephen F. Austin, Winthrop, Wofford and Brown round out the Blue Devils' regular season non-conference schedule. All of those games will be played at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Countdown to Craziness will take place Friday, October 18.

Duke's conference opponents have also been announced, though not the official conference schedule. The Blue Devils will face North Carolina, Wake Forest, Boston College, Miami, North Carolina State and Virginia Tech twice apiece next season, both home and away. They will take on Florida State, Louisville, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh only at home while matching up with Clemson, Georgia Tech, Syracuse and Virginia only on the road. 

This will be the first season the ACC will use a 20-game regular season conference schedule.