UConn, Duke to play this season

Updated: April 23, 2014, 7:49 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

National champion UConn and Duke are finalizing an agreement to play at the Meadowlands in New Jersey on a date just prior to Christmas, both schools confirmed to ESPN.com.

The Huskies should be a top 20 team if Ryan Boatright and DeAndre Daniels return instead of opting for early entry to the NBA (the deadline is Sunday). UConn also will have NC State transfer Rodney Purvis eligible.

Kevin Ollie
AP Photo/David J. PhillipCoach Kevin Ollie and the national champion Huskies are set to face Duke at the Meadowlands.

Duke, which should be in the top 20 as well, is bringing in a headline recruiting class with three of the top 15 players on the ESPN Top 100 -- 6-foot-10 Jahlil Okafor (No. 1), 6-1 Tyus Jones (No. 4) and 6-6 Justise Winslow (No. 15).

The game, to be played at Izod Center, would add to a loaded non-conference slate for both programs.

Duke, which has played a game in the New York metro area every year since 2002, also is slated to play Michigan State in the Champions Classic in Indianapolis in November as well as in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn with UNLV, Stanford and Temple also in the event. Duke is on the road in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge next season and there is a strong chance the Blue Devils could be sent to likely Big Ten preseason favorite Wisconsin. Matchups for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge are expected to be announced next week.

Hall of Fame head coach Mike Krzyzewski enters the season with 983 wins, making the milestone of reaching 1,000 wins more than attainable next season.

The defending champion Huskies have an arguably tougher slate lined up next season than Duke.

UConn returns with games at Florida in early January, Stanford in mid-January and Texas at home after a series hiatus. UConn also is in a solid Puerto Rico Tip-Off Field with Dayton (Elite Eight last month), West Virginia (likely NCAA tournament team next season), New Mexico (MWC contender), Texas A&M, Boston College, George Mason and the College of Charleston.

Both Duke and UConn are still finishing their respective non-conference schedules but these headline games are more than enough to offset games in the ACC and American, respectively.

UConn and Duke both want to play at least one game a year in the New York area to satisfy a strong alumni base.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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