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A look back at every Duke men's basketball matchup in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Duke's title game preview in 2014 against Wisconsin is one of many memorable Blue Devil matchups in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Duke's title game preview in 2014 against Wisconsin is one of many memorable Blue Devil matchups in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

No. 10 Duke takes on No. 6 Illinois Tuesday night at 9:30 p.m. as part of the 2020 ACC/Big Ten Challenge, an annual nonconference series that matches up teams from the ACC and the Big Ten. The Blue Devils' 19-2 record in the series is the best of any program by a significant margin, with Wake Forest and Louisville tying for the second-highest winning percentage with records of 12-6 and 4-2, respectively.

Let's take a look back at each of Duke's 21 ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchups since the series' inception in 1999.

Nov. 30, 1999: No. 17 Duke 72, No. 16 Illinois 69

Duke and Illinois squared off in an all-time classic back in 1999. JNCO jeans were all the rage, a computer glitch was about to cause the apocalypse and the Blue Devils were looking to avenge a National Championship loss, while the Fighting Illini were trying to bounce back after missing the NCAA tournament for the first time in six years. Led by Chris Carrawell’s 21 points and Shane Battier’s double-double, Duke a halftime deficit and outscored Illinois by eight in the second half, continuing what would become an 18-game winning streak. -Em Adler

Nov. 28, 2000: No. 1 Duke 78, No. 9 Illinois 77

In Duke’s second matchup against Illinois in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, the two top-10 ranked teams played a grueling contest, with the eventual national champion Blue Devils coming out on top. The game shifted hands the entire way, with neither team leading by more than eight. Jason Williams led all scorers with 23, while Duke’s starters as a whole scored all 78 Blue Devil points. Illinois dominated Duke on the glass, but Duke’s stellar defense led by freshman Chris Duhon forced 26 turnovers to clinch the narrow victory against Bill Self and the Fighting Illini. -Micah Hurewitz

Nov. 27, 2001: No. 1 Duke 80, No. 7 Iowa 62

Duke’s lone meeting with the Hawkeyes came in a top-10 matchup at the United Center, in which the Blue Devils jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. The senior trio of Jason Williams, Mike Dunleavy and Carlos Boozer were on their A-games, but it was sophomore Chris Duhon, in the midst of securing a permanent role in the starting lineup, and his 11 assists that made this one memorable. -Adler

Dec. 3, 2002: No. 4 Duke 91, Ohio State 76

No. 4 Duke handled unranked Ohio State easily in a 15-point win in the Greensboro Coliseum, though the Buckeyes didn't go down without a fight. With 12:59 left to play, the Blue Devils led by a wide margin of 27 points and the game seemed all but over. But Ohio State slowly cut into its deficit, managing to creep back within eight points. However, Duke’s firepower proved to be too hot to handle as the Blue Devils moved to 4-0 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. -Nithin Ragunathan

Dec. 3, 2003: No. 6 Duke 72, No. 5 Michigan State 50

In what was supposed to be a down-to-the-wire finish, Duke crushed the Spartans on Michigan State's home court, giving Coach K yet another win in the Izzo-Krzyzewski rivalry. The Blue Devils suffocated the Spartan offense, forcing 17 turnovers in just the first half, and put the final nail in the coffin when they jumped out to a 20-point lead a few minutes into the second half. -Jake Piazza

Nov. 30, 2004: No. 10 Duke 81, No. 11 Michigan State 74

It was an air raid all night long from juniors JJ Redick and Daniel Ewing—despite Michigan State holding a 10-point lead in the first half, the 29-point performances from both sharpshooters proved to be too much for the Spartans. The two guards played nearly the entire game (Ewing sat out two minutes) and Duke kept the Cameron Crazies on edge all game long as the lead changed hands numerous times. -Piazza

Nov. 30, 2005: No. 1 Duke 75, No. 17 Indiana 67

Despite Indiana gaining its first lead of the game after a 11-0 run late in the second half, Duke was able to keep its cool enough to pull off the win in Bloomington, Ind. The Hoosiers' Marco Killingsworth proved difficult to defend in the post, but the Blue Devils were able to hold Indiana to just 2-of-10 from behind the arc in senior JJ Redick's final ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup. -Campbell Lawson

Nov. 28, 2006: No. 11 Duke 54, Indiana 51

This one was not supposed to be a nail-biter, but unranked Indiana marched into Cameron Indoor Stadium and nearly handed Duke its second loss of the season. In an incredibly low-scoring affair, the Blue Devil defense provided just enough support to allow Duke to skate out of its home court with the victory. -Piazza

Nov. 27, 2007: No. 7 Duke 82, No. 20 Wisconsin 58

Ranked matchups are always exciting, and the ACC/Big Ten Challenge always brings the heat, but 13 years ago Cameron Indoor Stadium witnessed another story.  The Crazies were treated to a dominant victory in a great team win that gave the Blue Devils their seventh victory on the year en route to a 26-4 regular-season record. -Alex Jackson

Dec. 2, 2008: No. 4 Duke 76, No. 9 Purdue 60

Duke’s 10th win in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge came in its second-ever matchup against Purdue. Sophomore Kyle Singler and junior Jon Scheyer each notched 20 points for the Blue Devils, while Boilermaker leading scorer E’Twaun Moore struggled, scoring a mere 10 points en route to a 16-point Purdue loss in West Lafayette, Ind. -Ragunathan

Dec. 2, 2009: Wisconsin 73, No. 6 Duke 69

Duke’s defense simply could not tame Wisconsin’s offense in a raucous Kohl Arena. Despite junior Kyle Singler scoring a then-career-high 28 points, the Blue Devils struggled to get shots off down the stretch, leading to the program's first loss in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. -Lawson

Dec. 1, 2010: No. 1 Duke 84, No. 6 Michigan State 79

In yet another top-10 matchup between Mike Krzyzewski and Tom Izzo, the reigning national champion Blue Devils survived a late comeback by a Spartan team led by Draymond Green and Korie Lucious. Despite a rough start for senior leaders Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler, freshman Kyrie Irving starred in his preeminent college performance, leading all scorers with 31 points. -Hurewitz

Nov. 29, 2011: No. 2 Ohio State 85, No. 3 Duke 63

All eyes were on this top-five matchup between two national title contenders. While freshman guard Austin Rivers put up 22 points on the road, Ohio State was simply too tough on the inside and too efficient from deep. Buckeye forward Jared Sullinger bullied his way to 21 points and eight rebounds and Aaron Craft filled up the stat sheet with 17 points, eight assists and five boards. Duke was unable to fully weather the storm after the Buckeyes jumped out to an 11-0 lead, as the Blue Devils suffered their second—and most recent—loss in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. -Max Rego

Nov. 28, 2012: No. 2 Duke 73, No. 4 Ohio State 68

This time around, Duke got revenge for what happened a year earlier against Ohio State. Despite trailing for most of the contest, the Blue Devils were spearheaded by senior leader Mason Plumlee en route to a thrilling victory in front of the Cameron Crazies. Plumlee, who went on to receive second team All-American honors, racked up 21 points and 17 rebounds against the Buckeyes, with his second-half slam off an alley-oop from sophomore Quinn Cook sending Cameron Indoor Stadium into a frenzy. -Rego

Dec. 3, 2013: No. 10 Duke 79, No. 22 Michigan 69

After a rocky start to the season, Duke handled Michigan at Cameron Indoor Stadium behind the strength of junior Quinn Cook’s breakout 24-point performance, with star freshman Jabari Parker and redshirt sophomore Rodney Hood also pouring in a combined 29 points for the Blue Devils. Duke slowed the game down and shut down Wolverine top scorer Nik Stauskas and Final Four hero Mitch McGary thanks to steady defensive performances from Matt Jones and Marshall Plumlee, leading to what was the team’s first top-25 victory of the season. -Jonathan Levitan

Dec. 3, 2014: No. 4 Duke 80, No. 2 Wisconsin 70

In what ultimately turned out to be a National Championship Game preview, the Blue Devils pulled away late to topple Wisconsin on the road. Tyus Jones teased his future Final Four Most Outstanding Player award by torching the Badgers for 22 points, star freshman Jahlil Okafor went toe-to-toe with eventual National Player of the Year Frank Kaminsky, and sixth man Rasheed Sulaimon provided a spark off the bench in what proved to be just the first thrilling matchup of the nation’s best. -Levitan

Dec. 2, 2015: No. 7 Duke 94, Indiana 74

In the 2015 installment of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, the young Blue Devils crushed the Hoosiers in what became a signature win and a stepping stone for freshman wing Brandon Ingram. After laboring through matchups against Kentucky, VCU and Georgetown, Ingram finally found his groove, knocking down six threes en route to a 24-point performance. He and junior Matt Jones combined for 47 of Duke’s points, and Amile Jefferson came close to a triple-double. -Hurewitz

Nov. 29, 2016: No. 5 Duke 78, Michigan State 69

Led emotionally by freshman Frank Jackson, the Blue Devils were able to pull away from Michigan State thanks to an 11-0 run in the middle of the second half. Junior Grayson Allen led the team with 24 points despite battling a toe injury, helping spark the energy that led to Duke's second-half surge. Sophomore Luke Kennard added 20 points while top recruits Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden sat out due to injury.  -Lawson

Nov. 29, 2017: No. 1 Duke 91, Indiana 81

Entering the contest as the nation’s top team, the Blue Devils needed a balanced scoring effort from the trio of Wendell Carter, Marvin Bagley III and Grayson Allen to down a spirited Indiana squad on the road in Assembly Hall. Trailing late to the unranked Hoosiers, Duke gained the lead on a Carter 3-point play and never relinquished it, with Gary Trent’s late floater proving the dagger in a hard-fought victory for the Blue Devils. -Levitan

Nov. 27, 2018: No. 3 Duke 90, Indiana 69

The Blue Devils came into this one with almost a week to stew over being upset by Gonzaga and losing their No. 1 ranking. So, they opened the game at a frenetic pace and went into halftime with a 24-point lead, while shooting over 50% as a team and limiting Hoosier star Romeo Langford to a measly 3-for-15 mark from the field. -Adler

Dec. 3, 2019: No. 10 Duke 87, No. 11 Michigan State 75

Few Duke fans will forget the tears shed by Tre Jones following the Blue Devils' Elite Eight loss to the Spartans in March 2019, but this game would be a different story. Led by Jones’ 20 points and 12 assists along with Vernon Carey Jr.'s 26 points and 11 rebounds, Duke downed the Spartans in its most recent ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup. -Ragunathan


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