SPOKANE, Wash. -- Duke and Gonzaga, two of the most successful college basketball programs of the past decade, have never played. Until now.
The Blue Devils will play the Bulldogs on Dec. 21 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Where are J.J. Redick and Adam Morrison when we need them?
"This is a game we've been working on for a number of years," Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth said Tuesday. "It's just been difficult to put together from the standpoint of trying to find a location and a date that would work for both institutions."
This will be the first meeting between the two schools, which were ranked in or near the top 10 of The Associated Press Top 25 all last season.
Duke is first and Gonzaga is second in winning percentage among all of Division 1 basketball over the past six years, and Duke and Gonzaga are the only teams in the nation to have avoided a 10-loss season in the past eight years.
In addition, Morrison of Gonzaga and Redick of Duke engaged in a season-long showdown for the national scoring championship. Morrison won the scoring title with an average of 28.1 points per game, while Redick averaged 26.8. But Redick edged out Morrison in most player-of-the-year selections.
Redick has used up his eligibility, while Morrison opted to skip his senior year and declare for the NBA draft.
Duke, coached by Mike Krzyzewski, finished the season 32-4 after losing in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Gonzaga, coached by Mark Few, finished 29-4 and also lost in the third round.
Both teams have an abundance of returning talent and are expected to be ranked among the nation's best this winter.
Eric Gelfand, vice president of public relations for Madison Square Garden, said the Dec. 21 date was picked in part to give Duke and Gonzaga fans attending the game a chance to experience the Big Apple in its holiday splendor.
"We want fans from both schools to come and enjoy our city," he said. "I hope Gonzaga's fans travel well, because Duke's do. They've played here many times. It's like their home away from home.
Roth said Gonzaga was hoping to charter an airplane for Bulldogs fans wishing to attend the game.
Gonzaga has played once before in Madison Square Garden, losing to Saint Joseph's 73-66 on Nov. 14, 2003, in Morrison's first college game.