This is the first part of a six part series in which Thomas Eames, Jason Morrow, Brian Horace (Duke Blogger), and Randy Dunson (Duke Blogger) go through and predict who will win each Duke basketball game. We will all individually predict each game and show you where we think Duke will be at the end of the year.

November 8: Davidson at Duke


Duke: 4. Davidson: 0.

 

 

Thomas Eames
 

Duke: This will be a much closer game than most people think. Just two years ago, Davidson played Duke in a very close game where Andre Dawkins hit a late three to win it. This game may not be that close, but Davidson is a very good opponent and will give Duke a good challenge to go into the rest of the season.

 

Jason Morrow
 

Duke: Davidson, a team that went 17-1 in Southern Conference play last year, matches up with the Blue Devils in the first regular season game in 2013. They return 11 letter-winners from a year ago, adding in three new recruits, the best of which being Jack Gibbs from Westerville North, in Columbus. I could see the Wildcats giving Duke some trouble, but nothing they cannot handle.



Brian Horace
 

Duke: Davidson year and year out plays one of the toughest schedules in college basketball and their coach Bob McKillop is one of the best in the business. Moving to the Atlantic 10, Davidson is poised for difference making year for the program and notching a win against Duke would be a huge step in that direction. Duke will face an experienced team and despite some pegging a team like Davidson a cupcake, nothing could be further from the truth. Duke wins, but is tested.

 

Randy Dunson
 

Duke: These two teams have a storied history dating back to the 1909! Duke holds an 88-17 record over Davidson. Recently though, some games have been nail-biters as Coach Bob McKillop has built this program into one not to overlook. Despite the loss of three starters, they will still be strong. However, Duke is simply too talented to lose this home opener. Duke (75-60).

 

 

November 12: Kansas vs Duke (Champions Classic in Chicago)
 

Duke: 4. Kansas: 0.

 

Thomas Eames
 

Duke: Kansas is a very talented team, but I believe they are a little overhyped due to the commitment of Andrew Wiggins. Duke has two wings close to as talented as Wiggins, in Rodney Hood and Jabari Parker, and are better in the guard spots. Kansas does not have the size to beat up Duke down low, so I believe Duke will win this game with Andrew Wiggins keeping it close to the very end.

Jason Morrow
 

Duke: Parker versus Wiggins. Easily the game of the season, in just game number two. Personally, this will be the most entertaining game to watch, just to see the two best recruits go head-to-head in arguably the best non-conference game of the year. I really think this game will be a coin-flip, and it will come to down Parker and Wiggins, and who makes the last play.

 

Brian Horace
 

Duke: Kansas on paper is a powerhouse but as we all know Young teams can do either direction especially in the early season. Kansas has a great class coming in with Wayne Selden, Andrew Wiggins, Brannen Greene, Connor Frankamp and Joel Embiid lots of talent but how will the freshman handle the big stage so early in their careers? I think Duke will run away with this game late, but Kansas will give Duke some trouble early. The experience back-court of Duke will control tempo and Duke wins going away.

Randy Dunson
 

Duke: In the illustrious history of KU and Duke Men’s Basketball that spans more than a century, these proud schools have played each other only nine times, with Duke holding a 7-2 advantage. While much of the attention this coming season will fall on shoulders of freshman Andrew Wiggins, the nation's No. 1 recruit in 2013, Self has a cadre of outstanding young talent. That said, Duke’s maturity & record in neutral venues tips the scales Duke’s way in this early season match-up. Duke (69-61).

November 15: FAU at Duke
 

Duke: 4. FAU: 0.

Thomas Eames

 

Duke: Simply put, Duke is too talented to lose to FAU. FAU may put up a fight, but Duke will pull away in the second half leading to a blowout and minutes for Todd Zafirovski.

 

Jason Morrow
 

Duke: One of the few games left on the schedule without a time, but it does have a date, three days after the matchup with KU. I don't see Duke having any let down, and I expect them to roll easily.



Brian Horace
 

Duke: Duke should be able to run past FAU, even with experienced coach Mike Jarvis and talented senior guard Greg Gantt. Duke will key its defense to keep Gantt contained and use its wings to attack the basket.

 

Randy Dunson
 

Duke: This will be Duke’s first time playing the Owls rekindling Mike Jarvis' friendly rivalry with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, & who served as an Assistant Coach on K’s coaching staff in X. FAU comes off a dismal 14-18 record in 2012-13. With few high caliber players returning, this will be a cakewalk for the Devils. Duke (90-55).

 

 

November 18: UNC-Asheville at Duke (NIT Season Tipoff)
 

Duke: 4. UNC-Asheville: 0.

 

Thomas Eames
 

Duke: This is the first game of two games in a row for Duke. Duke will win comfortably but the score may not show that, due to Coach K resting players for the next game. This will still be an easy Duke win.

 

Jason Morrow
 

Duke: Round one of the Pre-Season NIT brings the Bulldogs of UNC-Asheville to Durham. Do not expect anything less than a fifteen or twenty point victory.

 

Brian Horace
 

Duke: UNC-Asheville isn't a team that Duke should have much trouble with. A .500 team last year, it's hard to imagine them keeping up with the talent level that Duke has, that being said I do expect a scrappy effort. This team did beat St. Johns last year, and lost to NC State by only 2 points. Unless Duke gets caught napping Duke should win this game.

 

Randy Dunson
 

Duke: This game will be the first of 2 played at Cameron Indoor Stadium for the 2013-2014 NIT Season Tip-Off. The Devils have only played the Bulldogs once, a 99-56 victory in 2009. UNC-A is coming off a lackluster 16-16 season in 2012-13, returning 8 players with 2 leading the way in scoring & rebounding. This does not bode well for the Bulldogs as the Blue Devils will steamroll. Duke (102-65).

 

 

November 19: ECU/Norfolk State at Duke
 

Duke: 4. Opponent: 0.

 

Thomas Eames
 

Duke: Both ECU and Norfolk State are superiors teams to UNC-Asheville, but neither stand much of a chance for Duke. Duke will come in rested after an easy game and their opponent will be tired after a hard fought game. Duke will cruise into the semifinals of the NIT Season Tipoff.

 

Jason Morrow
 

Duke: Duke will be right back at it after the UNC Asheville game, this time with either East Carolina or Norfolk State, do not really see a reason this won't be another game where the Devils cruise.

 

Brian Horace
 

Duke: Whether Duke plays ECU or Norfolk State they should get at very least a tough half of basketball, both teams are coming off of 20 win seasons but Norfolk State has a more experience roster to work with in the upcoming season. At this point in the month Duke will be a bit fatigued but I think they should be able to utilize their bench and overpower either team. Duke wins.

 

Randy Dunson
 

Duke: If ECU is Duke’s opponent in the 2nd game of the NIT, the Pirates could be a formidable foe. Coming off a 23-12 record last year in Conference USA, Jeff Lebo is establishing a solid program at ECU. The Pirates go deep & are big, a potential red flag for Duke (in most games this year). The Devils have dominated in this series, with a 20-0 record. Duke’s overall talent & maturity will lead them to victory. Duke (72-60). If Norfolk State prevails against ECU, they will not be a team to be overlooked. They’re coming off a 21-12 season last year but went 16-0 in the MEAC. The Spartans may not end up 16-0 again, but this team could actually be better than they were last year. Although big, Duke’s overall scoring ability will comfortably prevail. Duke (80-62).

November 24:  Vermont at Duke
 

Duke: 4. Vermont: 0.

 

Thomas Eames
 

Duke: A quick break in between the NIT Season Tipoff will be another easy win for Duke. Vermont is a talented team in the American East Conference, but does not stand much of a chance against Duke. Look for an easy Duke win as Duke prepares for the last two games of the NIT Season Tipoff.

 

Jason Morrow
 

Duke: The last test before the semifinals in the Pre-Season NIT for Duke, this time with the Catamounts of Vermont. Once more, I think Duke will roll into New York at worst with one loss, being against Kansas.

 

Brian Horace
 

Duke: Vermont is another team that Duke likes to schedule early in the season. Should Duke make the NCAA tournament a team like Vermont will be what they most likely face in the first round. With this being the 5th game in a two weeks span the fatigue Duke will have being a team that likes to press will mimic what they may face in March. Duke will win but I can see a sluggish first half.

 

Randy Dunson
 

Duke: Vermont had yet another solid season in 2012-2013 in the America East conference. This year Coach John Becker has a deep and talented team. That said, the Devils depth & talent far overpowers the Catamounts. Duke will have no trouble with Vermont. Duke (101-65).

 

 

November 27: Likely Rutgers/Alabama vs Duke (NIT Season Tipoff Semifinal at Madison Square Garden) 
 

Duke: 4. Opponent: 0.

 

Thomas Eames
 

Duke: Both Rutgers and Alabama are talented teams and will give Duke some trouble. Both teams have a chance at making the NCAA Tournament but will not find a great resume win here. Duke plays extremely well in early season tournaments and will not lose to inferior competition in the semifinals. 

 

Jason Morrow
 

Duke: If Duke does draw Alabama, this could be a good game, as the Crimson Tide are a rising team in the SEC, in terms of basketball. While most Alabama fans will probably be more worried with the Iron Bowl on the following Saturday, the Crimson Tide could give Duke a scare. Trevor Releford is the top player for Alabama, averaging a little under 16 ppg last year.

 

Brian Horace
 

Duke: Alabama or Rutgers. New Head coach Eddie Jordan has NBA experience and will most likely run an NBA style offense against Duke. Expect a fast paced offense and a staunch defense. Rutgers will get out into the passing lanes just as Duke does and try to turn Duke over, it should be a good test for Duke. No doubt this game will provide teachable moments for the new head coach at Rutgers but also for Duke's freshman. Duke wins. Alabama is poised to reach the NCAA tournament this year building off of being named a 1 seed in the NIT tournament last year. While not getting through MD in the quarterfinals Bama played the Terps closely losing by 1 point. Bama has a line-up that could very well give Duke trouble. Trevor Releford, brother of Travis Releford, of Kansas averages 15 a game and is the type of player that can give Duke fits. The Tide also have double figure score red Trevor Lacy and Randy Cooper. This is definitely a game that Duke fans should not take lightly. I say Duke wins by 10.

 

Randy Dunson
 

Duke: Anthony Grant and the Crimson Tide return five of their top seven players, but they also lost 4 other standout players for various reasons. Therefore, even though they still have depth they’ll not improve on last year’s record of 23-13. Duke holds a 7-3 lead in the series. Look for that to move to 8-3 as they feast on the Tide. Duke (88-68). Former Rutgers point guard Eddie Jordan returns to his alma mater after a long career as a player. This season's Rutgers team has a solid nucleus & the return of point guard Jerome Seagears gives the Scarlet Knights a group of players who have experience. Duke leads the series 3-0. With their overall talent, Rutgers will not be a hindrance...Duke goes big. Duke (90-60).

November 29: Likely Arizona vs Duke (NIT Season Tipoff Final at Madison Square Garden)
 

Duke: 2. Arizona: 2.

 

Thomas Eames
 

Arizona: Arizona is one of a few teams with the perfect roster to beat Duke. They have a great set of guards in TJ McConnell and Nick Johnson and athletic forwards in Brandon Ashley, Aaron Gordon, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson that will match up well with Duke's best four players. Where Arizona will beat Duke is with the great size of Kaleb Tarczewski in the paint. Arizona's talent on the perimeter and size down low will lead them to beat Duke, despite Duke's success in early season tournaments.

 

Jason Morrow
 

Duke: After spoiling the 2011 regional semifinal, it's payback time for Duke if these two do meet in the 2013 Pre-Season NIT championship. Sean Miller has things rolling at Arizona, but Duke will be prepared for that match-up. I expect a close Blue Devils victory.

 

Brian Horace
 

Duke: Arizona will be the toughest test for Duke at this point in the season doing off of a trip to the sweet 16. Despite losing their top 2 scorers look for the Wildcats to rebound strongly this year with Kaleb Tarczewski taking on a much heavier role along with Brandon Ashley and Nick Johnson. With what Sean Miller is bringing into the fold AZ will be in the hunt again and a top ten team all year long. Super talented freshman Aaron Gordon and defensive specialist Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Duke will have their hands full with this team. Duke will need to depend on its ability to score the basketball at every position on the floor. Duke will be a lot more athletic and quicker than the last iteration that played against Arizona and this one could be a nail biter but I am giving the edge to Duke with an experienced backcourt and just too much at the small forward and shooting guard spot. It's going to be difficult for AZ to match up with Duke.

 

Randy Dunson
 

Arizona: Although MSG is home away from home for the Devils, this year’s Arizona team may just serve to be too much to handle. The series with the Wildcats is tied at 4-4, with Duke last losing to the Wildcats 93-77 in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Although the Wildcats lost 2 players to the NBA draft, Sean Miller has brought in another stellar recruiting class. This is a tough call, but the Wildcats will prevail. Arizona (75-72).