Keeping with the tradition they've upheld in recent seasons, Duke's Blue Devils have invited the NCAA-II national champion Drury Panthers to play an exhibition men's basketball game at their famed Cameron Indoor Stadium next winter.
Drury athletic officials received the e-mail invitation for a preseason game next season in late October as well as congratulations from Duke athletic officials early this afternoon while the team is still in Atlanta after the Panthers defeated Metro State 74-73 on Sunday for their first NCAA-II title.
Duke, under the guidance of legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski, is located in Durham, N.C., that has won four national championships and is a perennial favorite to take home the title. The Blue Devils played defending D-II champion Western Washington in an exhibition last season at Cameron Indoor and beat the Warriors 105-87.
Other than official confirmation of the Duke invitation that the team had anticipated would be coming, Monday was a more relaxed pace for the Panthers in the aftermath of their big, come-from-behind victory from 17 points down to defeat the third-ranked Roadrunners of Metropolitan State before 7,763 fans, most to watch a D-II title game since 1971.
The Panthers were set to take a tour of the CNN/Turner campus this afternoon, then attend tonight's D-I national championship game between Louisville and Michigan in a suite as guests of the NCAA. The team was to be recognized on the court during a second-half media timeout at the Georgia Dome.
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