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KU-Duke slated for November showdown in Las Vegas

The longtime tradition of an absolutely stacked men's basketball schedule is alive and well at Kansas

2 min read
The Kansas Jayhawks huddle together during their win over Wichita State last season at T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri. [Chance Parker photo]

Another November showdown between two of college basketball's giants has been added to the schedule for the 2024-25 season.

First rumored to be in the works back in April, a new non-conference clash between Kansas and Duke became official this week, when it was announced that the two blue blood programs would play each other on Nov. 26 in Las Vegas.

The KU-Duke matchup will add another marquee game to an always-tough KU basketball schedule, which, for the first time ever, will include 20 games against Big 12 Conference foes.

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self has expressed concerns about the Big 12 expanding its conference slate to 20 games, from the 18 teams have played since 2011.

Before that, Big 12 play was just 16 games each season.

The reason for Self not wanting to go to 20, which is the plan for next season, has nothing to do with him not wanting more games against conference foes.

Instead, he’s concerned about 20 games against elite-level programs taking a toll on the league when the postseason rolls around and leaving room for the Jayhawks — and other programs throughout the country — to schedule the kinds of marquee, non-conference clashes that college basketball is known for year after year.

The latest matchup between the Jayhawks and Blue Devils will take place on Nov. 26 in the Vegas Showdown at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

That game, coupled with the start of a home-and-home series against North Carolina at Allen Fieldhouse next season, will give the Jayhawks two high-profile games against two of the sport’s biggest and most-tradition-rich programs.

It could have been a clean sweep at the top had Kansas and Kentucky been due to meet in the 2024 Champions Classic. But those two bluebloods played each other in that event last year in Chicago. KU will play Michigan State in the Champions Classic in 2024 in Atlanta. Not that Michigan Slate’s any kind of slouch.

KU and Duke, of course, have met four times in the Champions Classic (2013, 2016, 2019 & 2022), with Kansas winning three of those four matchups.

The rest of the non-conference schedule for Kansas includes a road game in December at Missouri, which should be much improved, and a clash with Creighton in Omaha in the Big 12-Big East Battle on Dec. 4.

Kansas playing a loaded non-conference schedule is certainly nothing new. But even by KU standards the schedule they’ve set up to start the 2024-25 season looks like a monster.

And that’s to say nothing — yet — of the Big 12 slate that, in the eyes of many college hoops analysts see as having five teams in the preseason Top 10 entering the season – Kansas, Houston, Baylor, Iowa State and newcomer Arizona.

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