It is a fitting locale, given the former occupation of Minnesota's governor, Jesse Ventura, the former professional wrestler.
Duke and Maryland know each other's tendencies, each other's styles. Maryland does not like Duke's unshakeable confidence that, to some, borders on arrogance, even if it is backed by a 33-4 record and No. 1 ranking. Duke does not like Maryland's pluckiness, the Terrapins' annoying tendency to make the Blue Devils' lives hell, their audacity at stealing a regular-season victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
This is great. It is like nothing before, yet everything is familiar. The previous three meetings between the two Atlantic Coast Conference foes were all bitter, all close, with Duke winning at Maryland, Maryland winning at Duke, and Duke winning the rubber match in the semifinal of the ACC tournament less than three weeks ago.
"There are no secrets between the teams," Duke assistant Steve Wojciechowski said.
The only real question is whether the familiarity will be a good thing. Will the nerves be less because the questions are few? Or will the pressure of losing to a conference rival make the players tight, apprehensive or nervous?
"That's left to be seen," Wojciechowski said. "I'm sure the team that wins it will say the familiarity was a good thing, and the team that loses it will say it was a bad thing."
Maryland knows that Duke prefers to run, and that if the Blue Devils' inside game gets going, Jason Williams will be even more deadly from outside. The Terps are aware of Duke's dominance through the early stages of the tournament, when the Blue Devils defeated four opponents by an average of 19.8 points per game. Duke has trailed for only 13 minutes, 16 seconds out of a possible 160 minutes of action.
And they know that. while this is Maryland's first ever trip to the Final Four, Shane Battier is making his second, Mike Krzyzewski is making his ninth and the Duke program its 13th.
To the Terps' credit, they don't care.
"They're strapping their shoes on just like everybody else," said Maryland swingman Byron Mouton.
So you don't fear the Devils, Mouton was asked?
"No fear," he said, adamantly. "No fear at all. I was hoping we'd see Duke."
"I'm sure they want to prove something to us," Terps reserve guard Drew Nicholas said. "We've been the only team that's played them well and figured them out."
Ah, the gamesmanship.
Duke knows that Maryland relishes the underdog role, that the Terrapins have won 10 of their last 11 games since being left for dead after a home loss to Florida State in mid-February. The Blue Devils know the Terps' point guard, Juan Dixon, plays better than usual against them, averaging 22.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in three meetings this season, and that Lonny Baxter is a man, having averaged a double-double in the last four games.
Duke knows Maryland gets it, has confidence, is fearless and . . . can be beaten.
"The bottom line, it's still the Final Four," Duke sophomore center Carlos Boozer said.
"We have a chance to prove we belong here."
Added sophomore forward Mike Dunleavy of Duke: "They've beat us once. They can do it again."
In each of the previous three meetings, Maryland held a double-digit lead, including in the last minute of the teams' first game. After a colossal collapse, in which Maryland blew a 10-point lead with less than a minute to go and lost, 98-96, in overtime, the Terps crumbled.
They lost at Virginia, beat Clemson, then lost three straight to Georgia Tech, North Carolina and the ACC's eighth-place team, Florida State.
Maryland coach Gary Williams was ostracized in College Park. The players were laughed at in class. Everyone was embarrassed. A man at Cole Field House yelled at Williams: "Good luck in the NIT."
The Terps have lost once since, to Duke. Duke's only loss since then was to Maryland.
Now, only one can advance to the national title game.
"This is do or die," Mouton said.
"I think we're all going to be anxious to be in the Final Four," Boozer said. "We'll be anticipating them, and they'll be anticipating us."
"I think our players felt this year that we were a good enough team to play against Duke," Williams said. "I think the styles of play . . . they shoot the ball a lot more from the three-point line, we go inside more. We both get up and down the court. We don't hesitate if we're open. Both teams shoot it quickly. I think that provides for some great games when we play each other."
"I wouldn't be shocked if this wasn't a high-scoring game," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "And really, because they have good depth and good scorers, and we have good scorers and we're developing depth.
"But I think we know each other pretty well. It's going to be difficult to stop one another."
Afterward, for the loser, difficult to accept that there are no more games to play, against their conference rival or anyone else. Only one more game to watch.
Ashley McGeachy's email address is email@example.com.