College hoops heavyweights Duke and Gonzaga to meet in Las Vegas in November

College Sports

LAHAINA, HI – NOVEMBER 21: RJ Barrett #5 of the Duke Blue Devils drives to the basket during the finals of the Maui Invitational college basketball game against the Gonzaga Bulldogs at the Lahaina Civic Center on November 21, 2018 in Lahaina Hawaii. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS (March 5, 2021) – Las Vegas is the home to some of the biggest matches of all-time – Tyson vs. Holyfield, Sugar Ray vs. “Hit Man” Hearns and Mayweather vs. McGregor, among others – but this November, no game in all of college basketball will rival the heavyweight battle between Duke and Gonzaga. The two programs will meet for a 2021 – 2022 season matchup on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021 at T-Mobile Arena.  

Current No. 1 Gonzaga sits at 24-0 having not lost a game in more than a calendar year. The Bulldogs are looking to win their eighth WCC Tournament title in the past nine years when they begin play in the league tournament on Monday, March 8. Since beating a top-ranked Duke squad in the championship game of the 2018 Maui Invitational, Gonzaga has been arguably the best team in college basketball compiling an 82-6 record, finishing the 2019 regular season as the top-ranked team in the country and being ranked No. 2 nationally when the season was abruptly canceled last year due to COVID-19.

“We have nothing but the utmost respect for Coach K and Duke,” said Gonzaga head coach Mark Few. “We look forward to playing in an exciting event in a world-class facility, that will get the focus to college basketball between two great teams early in the season.”

Duke returns to Las Vegas for the first time since selling out T-Mobile Arena in the venue’s first college basketball game when the Blue Devils beat UNLV before a standing-room-only crowd of 19,107 fans. Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s squad will be bolstered by two McDonald’s All-Americans  and top-15 players in the 2021 class (No. 3 Paolo Banchero and No. 14 A.J. Griffin) as the Blue Devils seek to win the program’s sixth national championship under the Hall of Fame coach. The game marks the first trip to the west coast for Duke since 2017.

“We are excited to play in Las Vegas next season against such a great program,” Krzyzewski said. “We have a tremendous amount of respect for Gonzaga and the program Mark Few has built there. The results speak for themselves. Certainly, this will be a showcase game during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and we are honored to be part of it.”

Veteran Las Vegas promoter bdG Sports, which annually hosts the Roman Main Event tournament  and the Korn Ferry Tour’s MGM Resorts Championship in April, has contracted the marquee matchup.

“This game could be played anywhere, but when you talk about a big-event city, a town whose very definition is ‘entertainment,’ there was no better place in the world to stage this game than Las Vegas,” said Brooks Downing, CEO of bdG Sports. “We fully expect this game to serve as a ‘return to standing-room-only,’ just as it was in ’16 when we hosted Duke-UNLV in T-Mobile Arena. We’re certain this matchup will put this pandemic in the rear-view mirror with a record crowd.” 

Tickets range from $39 in the upper level to $169 in the lower level sideline club seats. A limited number of courtside tickets will be available for $299, $499 or $799 depending on the location. Tickets will be on-sale to the public starting Friday, March 12 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased at AXS.com or t-mobilearena.com.

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