Here are some schedule highlights and games of note:
Who Own the Cavaliers? (Owns! Owns!)
April 14: Virginia
Duke hasn't lost to Virginia -- a program that owns five NCAA Tournament championships, 22 Championship Weekend appearances, 22 regular season ACC championships, and six ACC Tournament titles -- since April 23, 2010. In the last six meetings between the two powerhouse programs, Duke has throttled the Cavaliers, owning an unblemished record and a plus-25 scoring margin (averaging a 16-12 victory). That's a somewhat insane degree of domination over a member of the nation's highest reaches of the competitive hierarchy: This six-game winning streak from Duke stands as Virginia's longest losing streak among Duke (0-6), Syracuse (2-2), Johns Hopkins (1-4), Maryland (4-3), and North Carolina (3-4) going back to April 23, 2010.
That's . . . definitely something that exists.
The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday
March 7: Loyola; March 22: at Syracuse; March 29: at North Carolina; April 4: Notre Dame; April 12: Virginia; April 24-26: ACC Tournament
That's 50 days of massive moments coming in almost successive fashion. The only dates that break up this brutal stretch of games come on March 14th and April 18th, opportunities on the calendar to "breathe" against Georgetown and Marquette. Otherwise, the Devils will pivot from February and push into May through territory littered with land mines and assassins. All of these opponents were NCAA Tournament teams last season and only the Tar Heels -- Duke's blood-feud corollary -- were not seeded in last season's main event. Playing in the ACC obviously creates these circumstances -- the only nonconference aspect of this stretch is the team's meeting with Loyola -- but that fact doesn't mitigate the Blue Devils' murderous close to the their slate in 2015.
February 7: at High Point; February 8: Air Force; February 14: v. Denver; February 15: at Mercer; February 22: at Stony Brook; February 28: Harvard
I could be wrong, but I think -- at least based on released schedules -- that Duke's six games in February is the most that a team will play in that month in the coming spring. Not only have the Devils loaded up college lacrosse's first month of competition, but Duke is doing it in an interesting way: On consecutive weekends, the Devils will play back-to-back games -- alas, not doubleheaders like true sociopaths -- on Saturday and Sunday, quick turnarounds that will require Duke to keep fresh legs. The Devils will see only one fierce predator in that two-week period, but High Point and Air Force could create some issues for Duke if the Devils don't have their pump sufficiently primed.