Syracuse Orange vs Duke Blue Devils Basketball Rivalry


The rivalry between the Syracuse Orange and Duke Blue Devils in basketball is an important one to know. The Atlantic Coast Conference features some of the biggest and best names in collegiate basketball, along with some of the most famous coaches of all time. Jim Boeheim, head coach of the Syracuse Orange and Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski, also known as “Coach K”, are two of the most decorated coaches of all time. This has sparked a fierce rivalry between the two school’s basketball teams.

Rivalry Overview

Since the emergence of both Boeheim and Coach K as two of the best coaches in college basketball, meetings between the teams have been highly anticipated by fans all over the country. Prior to their arrival in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Syracuse Orange played in the Big East Conference. Since Duke played in the Atlantic Coast Conference at the time, the two teams rarely saw each other outside of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in March. However, this changed in 2013 when Syracuse joined the Atlantic Coast Conference. At that point, both coaches were regarded as the best in the sport and were at the helm of powerhouse programs.

The Syracuse Orange and Duke Blue Devils have produced some extremely entertaining games since they started playing each other in the ACC every year. Perhaps one of the most famous matchups between the two teams took place in 2017 when the Blue Devils travelled to Syracuse to play a conference game in the Carrier Dome. The game was highly contested through its entirety, and came down to the last second when Syracuse guard John Gillon hit a buzzer-beating three-point shot to win the game.

Notable Rivalry Games

  • Feb. 2, 2014 Duke at Syracuse: No.5 Duke beats No.1 Syracuse and Boeheim is ejected for tirade against referees.
  • Feb. 22, 2017 Duke at Syracuse: John Gillion buzzer beater gives Syracuse the win at the Carrier Dome.
  • Feb. 23, 2019 Duke at Syracuse: NCAA record breaking attendance with 35,642 fans in the Carrier Dome.
  • Jan. 14, 2019 Syracuse at Duke: Syracuse defeats #1 ranked Duke in overtime at Cameron Indoor.

Notable Players and Coaches in the Rivalry

  • Jim Boehiem: Syracuse Basketball head coach
  • Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K): Duke Basketball head coach
  • Zion Williamson: Former Duke forward (2018-2019)
  • Grayson Allen: Former Duke small forward/shooting guard (2014-2018)
  • John Gillon: Former Syracuse point guard (2016-2017)
  • Jerami Grant: Former Syracuse forward (2012-2014)


Why are Duke and Syracuse basketball rivals?

Syracuse University and Duke University men’s basketball team’s are considered one of the most high profile rivalries in college basketball. The two programs are coached by two of college basketball’s all-time greatest coaches, hall-of-famers Jim Boeheim and Mike Krzyzewski. Both teams play in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), which means their matchups are highly valued in terms of inter-conference record. Additionally, Syracuse and Duke basketball games have a history of epic finishes and close contests, adding to the excitement surrounding the rivalry.

How old is the Syracuse and Duke basketball rivalry?

While both coaches Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim had been coaching for more than 30 years, they only recently started playing one another when Syracuse joined Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013. This is regarded as the point in time when the rivalry between the two teams first began, as they now play each other at least once per season.

How often do Syracuse and Duke basketball play each other?

Syracuse and Duke play each other in men’s basketball at least once a year, over the course of the NCAA regular season. However, depending on the success of each program from year to year, the two rivals may also face off in the NCAA’s March Madness Tournament or the ACC Tournament any given year. Regardless, the Syracuse Orange and Duke Blue Devils take the court and compete at least once every season. They typically alternate venues each year, rotating between the Carrier Dome and Cameron Indoor Stadium.