VCU Rams take on Duke Blue Devils in NY
Fred Jeter | 11/20/2015, 8:30 p.m.
Here comes the rubber match.
Virginia Commonwealth University and Duke University have met twice before in basketball, in 2007 and 2012, with each school winning once.
The third meeting will take place 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, at Madison Square Garden in New York City as part of the 2K Classic to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.
The game will be televised on ESPN2.
The University of Wisconsin and Georgetown University will play in the other half of the draw. The consolation and championship games will be Sunday, Nov. 22, with games at 1 and 3 p.m., respectively.
Both defending NCAA champion Duke and VCU have a different look this season.
Blue Devils Coach Mike Krzyzewski lost three first-round NBA draft choices —Jahlil Okafor, Justice Winslow and Tyus Jones — from last year’s 35-4 squad.
Absent from VCU are Coach Shaka Smart, who left in April to coach at the University of Texas, and standout players Treveon Graham and Briante Weber, now in the NBA Development League.
New Rams Coach Will Wade opened with a 75-50 victory last week over Prairie View A&M University. VCU improved to 2-0 under Coach Wade with a 92-74 victory Monday over visiting Radford University. In front of a sold out crowd of 7,637, Melvin Johnson hit six of the Rams’ 13 three-pointers and led scoring with 24 points.
Duke, with five NCAA titles to its credit, is arguably the marquee attraction in all of college basketball.
Coach Krzyzewski is 947-251 at Duke since 1980.
Perhaps VCU’s all-time, take notice victory was in 2007, when it upset Duke 79-77 in the first round of the NCAA playoffs in Buffalo, N.Y.
Eric Maynor hit the game winner for VCU with 1.8 seconds left. Maynor’s shot has come to be known as “The Dagger.”
Duke gained revenge in 2012, defeating VCU 67-58 at the Battle 4 Atlantic tournament in Nassau, Bahamas.
The Rams get two more cracks at ACC schools this season. VCU will face Florida State University on Dec. 6 and Georgia Tech on Dec. 15 in Atlanta.
Ramblings: VCU has agreed to play in the 2017 Maui Classic in Lahaina, Hawaii.
Two VCU freshmen, Samir Doughty and Jonathan Nwankwo, will be red-shirted this season.
On the recruiting trail, Coach Wade has two high school commits: 6-foot-5 Marquell Fraser from Hamilton, Ontario, in Canada and 6-foot-6 De’Riante Jenkins from Orlando, Fla.
Jenkins is playing this season at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham.