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Top-ranked Duke stays busy with matchup vs. Utah Valley

DURHAM, N.C. -- Neither Duke nor Utah Valley can be accused of easing into the season.

They're getting busy from the get-go, with both teams playing on consecutive nights.

Top-ranked Duke will have its first-ever meeting with Utah Valley on Saturday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

This comes just three nights before a national showdown for the Blue Devils with Michigan State in Chicago.

"We have a rough road with nine games in 20 days and we are traveling a lot," said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, whose team opened with a 97-68 home victory against visiting Elon on Friday night. "You're in Chicago, you're in Portland, you're in Indiana. We'll have to see how the young guys do with that kind of schedule."

Utah Valley is being put to stern tests as well, opening with Friday night's 73-63 loss at No. 5 Kentucky.

Duke is beginning the season with home games on back-to-back days for the fourth season in a row. The Blue Devils have won all of those particular games, with each by a margin of at least 18 points.

It's a heavy dose of action.

"There will be a lot of games," said Duke freshman forward Marvin Bagley III, who scored 25 points to go with 10 rebounds in his collegiate debut. "Either back-to-back or whenever, we're going to play a lot of games."

Krzyzewski will be going for a milestone in the Utah Valley game. He has won 999 games as Duke's coach as part of his record total of 1,072 overall victories in 43 total seasons as a college head coach.

Utah Valley received a taste of a big-time atmosphere on the season's opening night.

"Our goal is to schedule the most ambitious non-conference schedule in America," third-year Utah Valley coach Mark Pope said prior to the season. "We love it because it inspires and challenges our guys."

It's a daunting early task for the Wolverines, who might be used to it. Last year, they visited Gonzaga, Brigham Young and Washington State in November.

"It also gives us a look at what we want to become," Pope said. "Our goal is to be the best team we can possibly be at the end of the season. We had great success with that last year and part of doing that is putting together the hardest non-conference schedule we can and we've accomplished that."

Duke had four freshmen in its starting lineup in the first game. While there are new experiences for the team, the players seem to be handling it well so far.

"We're learning to use different lineups and adjust," Duke forward Wendell Carter Jr. said.

By defeating Elon, Duke won its opener for the 18th year in a row.

Krzyzewski said backup center Marques Bolden would miss Saturday's game after sitting out with an illness Friday night.

Utah Valley, which was picked third by the media and fourth by the coaches in the preseason Western Athletic Conference polls, has dropped its last four openers.

Utah Valley assistant coach Chris Burgess began his collegiate playing career at Duke.

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