Duke will find themselves up against one of their biggest challenges of the year on Saturday, and not merely because they're set to take on Syracuse in the Carrier Dome.


Following his exit from Wednesday's hyped matchup between the Blue Devils and North Carolina as a result of a knee injury sustained in the opening minute, Duke star freshman Zion Williamson has been ruled out of Duke's matchup with the Orange on Saturday.


Duke lost their previous game against Syracuse, falling to Jim Boeheim's squad in a contest that went down to the wire despite the Blue Devils missing both Cam Reddish, who was dealing with an illness, and Tre Jones, who suffered an injury early on in the game. 

The word came down early on Saturday that the news was, in fact, official.


The Blue Devils' attempt at revenge on Saturday will be more difficult than anticipated with Williamson on the bench, as the freshman forward is averaging over 20 points per game and currently leads the team in both steals and rebounds.


However, with Reddish and Jones set to play in Saturday's game alongside the team's top scorer in RJ Barrett, the matchup still looks to be in Duke's favor. 

Syracuse is coming off of a huge victory over Louisville on Wednesday, defeating the Cardinals by 20 points at the Carrier Dome. Now, the Orange will be looking for yet another upset on Saturday, and with Williamson sitting, the conditions are ripe for Syracuse to send another shockwave into the NCAA basketball landscape.