Dribble Handoff: Duke vs. Gonzaga, Kentucky vs. Indiana among home-and-home hoops series we’d like to see

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Duke and Arizona just lately introduced an agreement to schedule a home-and-home series starting within the 2023-24 season. The collection breaks a longstanding tendency by the Blue Devils to (largely) abstain from difficult nonconference street video games and units school hoops up with what ought to be top-of-the-line home-and-home collection on the slate over the subsequent few years. It additionally acquired us excited about all of the enjoyable prospects of different nonconference matchups.

Numerous high quality video games are performed between convention and nonconference opponents alike that persistently ship the products, after all — Duke-UNC, Cincinnati-Xavier and Kentucky-Louisville all come to thoughts. There are many different juicy matchups, nonetheless, that both have not occurred just lately, or have not taken place in any respect, and will ship drama inside enjoyable atmospheres.

So which nonconference matchups would we schedule if the powers-that-be granted our panel govt energy for a day to place down any home-and-home collection on the slate? Gary Parrish, Matt Norlander, David Cobb and myself every weigh in on that query under.

Kentucky vs. Indiana

Kentucky and Indiana met yearly from 1965 by way of 2012. They’ve performed a complete of 57 instances, these two huge basketball manufacturers from bordering states with campuses separated by solely 170 miles.

It was one of many nice non-league rivalries.

However the annual collection got here to an finish following the 2011-12 season — after Christian Watford hit one of the most memorable buzzer beaters of this century to raise the Hoosiers previous the Wildcats — as a result of the 2 sides could not agree on easy methods to proceed it. Kentucky coach John Calipari wished to take the collection off campus and play it at a impartial web site. However then-Indiana coach Tom Crean wished to maintain the collection as-is and alternate between Meeting Corridor and Rupp Enviornment. Neither man budged. And nothing has modified previously decade. So now UK and IU don’t play yearly, which is unlucky for quite a lot of causes, largely as a result of having one fewer sport yearly between distinguished powers is not good for anyone.

Although I perceive the enchantment of neutral-site video games — monetarily and in any other case — I’ve at all times been a believer that school basketball is greatest in house venues. Gonzaga-Duke in Las Vegas was nice final yr — however it will’ve been 10 instances cooler inside The Kennel or Cameron Indoor. And that is why I appreciated the announcement earlier this week that first-year Duke coach Jon Scheyer has agreed to take his Blue Devils on the street to Arizona on the expense of one other neutral-site contest. Now would not it’s nice if extra coaches of blue-blood applications have been keen to extra frequently do the identical and provides their season-ticket holders extra attention-grabbing non-league matchups to take pleasure in at house? — Gary Parrish

Gonzaga vs. Duke

It is an encouraging signal that Jon Scheyer is keen to do what Mike Krzyzewski was unwilling to do for the ultimate fourth of his profession: decide in to home-and-home collection towards power-conference opponents. With that in thoughts, we’re not stopping at Arizona vs. Duke. Let’s maintain it out west and get the Blue Devils to play a faculty that has provided up a few actually nice video games within the quick collection historical past. Duke and Gonzaga have by no means performed at one another’s house gyms. It is not stunning, but it surely’s one thing that ought to finish prior to later. Simply the visible is large. Conjure it up in your thoughts now: Gonzaga unis inside Cameron Indoor; Duke gamers preventing uphill on the Kennel.

I do know Mark Few needs it. Duke is on the very quick record of big-time applications which have but to schedule Gonzaga in a collection, home-and-home or in any other case, and it is a bit of a white whale for him. You’ve gotten the last word Cinderella-to-Powerhouse going up towards the preferred/polarizing program in school sports activities. Reverse coasts, two small universities which can be among the many two winningest applications of the previous 20 years. 

Duke leads 4-1 all-time, with Gonzaga’s sole win coming in Maui in 2018. All 5 matchups have featured each groups being ranked, the three most up-to-date (2015, 2018, 2021) being top-10 affairs. There is a lengthy record of home-and-homes I might wish to see Duke join underneath Scheyer, however Gonzaga has to high the record, definitely whereas Few continues to be operating this system and the Bulldogs are Ultimate 4 contenders on an annual foundation. — Matt Norlander

Kansas vs. Missouri

Rivalries are nice and all, however rivalries with their very own names, as Kansas and Missouri have with the Border Conflict? These simply hit just a little otherwise, you understand? So I’ll skirt my very own standards for this choice and go along with a matchup not that I need to see — although I very a lot do need to see extra of KU-Mizzou — however one I need to see a lot, a lot, extra of.

These two applications hate one another. Double hate. Detest solely, even. This stemmed from a protracted in-conference rivalry that spanned greater than a century earlier than Missouri’s soar to the SEC, and it has by no means fully died off. And whereas they’ve performed solely as soon as since — a lopsided Kansas win in 2021 — the animosity on each side stays. 

That is precisely the kind of nonconference showdowns that ought to be leaned into, not averted, by school directors, which is why I am going to tip my cap right here as a nod to say thanks for the powers-that-be having this one on the docket starting subsequent season and recurring for several years to come. (Largely, although, if I might wish to see it etched into the calendar on a extra everlasting foundation. Let’s get this on the books by way of 2040. Severely: who says no?) 

I do not need to be too grasping, so good on ya, Missouri and Kansas, for making this one come again into the rota — and let’s remember to maintain it within the common schedule for the foreseeable future when the present collection lapses. School hoops followers win when this rivalry is performed. Kansas and Missouri followers win. When each side are closely invested, as they clearly are on each side of the KU-Mizzou aisle, it supplies a sports activities product that’s incapable of being replicated. — Kyle Boone

Texas Tech vs. Michigan

Michigan star heart Hunter Dickinson fired off a since-deleted tweet on April 29 calling Texas Tech coach Mark Adams “a coward.” The general public shot from Dickinson was apparently tied to the truth that Texas Tech switch Terrence Shannon was unable to enroll at Michigan. The allegation is that Adams would not conform to let Shannon take summer time lessons at Texas Tech after Shannon introduced his intent to switch. Apparently, that saved him from gaining admission to Michigan, at the least in keeping with Dickinson.

As a substitute, Shannon ended up at Illinois, the place he’ll compete towards Michigan within the 2022-23 season. Let’s capitalize on the offseason beef between the Wolverines and Crimson Raiders to offer the followers a grudge match at Michigan. Then, the next season, the Wolverines can return the journey and possibly we’ll have a brand new, nice rivalry in school basketball. Dickinson and Michigan coach Juwan Howard aren’t afraid to let their passions present, and Michigan followers would doubtless give Texas Tech the kind of heat welcome that Crimson Raiders followers gave to Chris Beard final season when he returned to Texas Tech with Texas. That was a completely wild scene, and if we will replicate that with a nonconference collection, it will be a blast. — David Cobb





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