It is a matchup 25 years in the making. In 1990, UNLV beat Duke to claim the national title. The next season Duke got revenge and ended UNLV’s unbeaten season and hope for back-to-back national titles.
It will only be a rematch for Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, however. None of the players who step on the court of the T-Mobile Arena were alive the last time Duke and UNLV played.
Unfortunately for UNLV, this game won’t be much of a tie-breaker for those two early 90s games. Fifth-ranked Duke will likely be favored somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 points.
The one advantage UNLV may have is rest. The Rebels have the entire week off, while Duke will head to New York to play #24 Florida.
But the talent on the court will be overwhelmingly in Duke’s favor. According to Draft Express, four Blue Devils are projected to be first-round draft picks in 2017. Two of those stars played their first game of the year on Saturday, as freshmen Marques Bolden and Jayson Tatum made their debuts against Maine.
Harry Giles still hasn’t played for Duke this year, so Krzyzewski may be mixing and matching just as much as Menzies on Saturday.
UNLV and Duke tip off at 2:15 p.m. at the T-Mobile Arena on December 10. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN.