After Kentucky dominated in their Big Blue Bahamas event, going 4-0 against professional basketball teams and players, the Duke Blue Devils tipped off their smaller, less impressive Canadian tour this week against weaker competition in Canada.
They already won their first game against Ryerson University (they were down after the first quarter, but who’s counting), are currently in the middle of their second game against the University of Toronto, and will face off against McGill University on Sunday. Three games in five days compared to Kentucky’s four games in five days.
And apparently, the Blue Devils went out of their way to avoid one of the best universities in all of Canada.
The Carleton University Ravens, a team that defeated Wisconsin in 2014 (yes, those Badgers), the national champion Kansas Jayhawks in 2009, and Division 1 programs such as Cincinnati, Ole Miss, and South Dakota State this week alone, were shut down when they tried to play Duke on this trip.
Carleton’s head coach, Dave Smart, who has won 14 national championships at the school, reached out to Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils, but didn’t receive a call in return.
“I asked if we could go to Montreal or Toronto to play them but there was no call back,” Smart said in an interview with Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. “We really wanted to play them. We want to play anyone of that calibre. It would be a great experience for our guys and show us our holes. I’m not worried about winning or losing, but teams at that level, we want to play.”
In fact, Duke isn’t the only team avoiding the Ravens.
“I’ve been told coaches are dodging us,” said Smart.
A Duke spokesman said the school chose the cities they wanted to visit first and opponents were decided later.
In other words, they scared.