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The Florida Gators and Duke Blue Devils will square off on the basketball court for the 17th time in the history of their programs when the teams participate in the 2016 Jimmy V. Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York City, a source confirmed to OnlyGators.com on Tuesday.
Florida is 4-12 all-time against Duke, and the teams have not squared off since the 2000 NCAA Tournament when the Gators beat the Blue Devils 87-78. Prior meetings include 1921-22, 1932, twice in 1934, 1936, twice in 1937, 1946, 1960, 1961, 1973, 1987, 1994 and 1998. (Those first two meetings in the 1920s occurred when Duke was known as Trinity College.)
With Florida hiring head coach Mike White last offseason, there is now a natural connection between UF and Duke. White’s father, Kevin White, is the Blue Devils’ athletic director, and the programs have been working on scheduling a game for most of the last year.
“We’re excited for the Gators to be part of the Jimmy V Classic next season. This is not only one of the premier events in college basketball, but it obviously also supports an important cause, so it’s an honor for us to compete and I know our guys will be thrilled for the opportunity to play at Madison Square Garden,” the coach said in a release.
Arizona State vs. Purdue will play ahead of Florida-Duke in the Jimmy V. Classic, which is set for Dec. 6, 2016. The Gators and Blue Devils will play at 9 p.m. ET.