Take a look at the Duke cover that would have run for Sports Illustrated's college basketball preview had the Boston Red Sox not won the World Series.

By Alaa Abdeldaiem
October 31, 2018

Steve Pearce was not always meant to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated. The Boston Red Sox closed out the World Series on Sunday night and won the franchise's fourth title this century. However, it was Duke's group of elite freshmen that was initially meant to be featured on the cover of the latest issue of Sports Illustrated.

With a special digital cover, they still are. The Duke digital cover joins the special bonus digital cover history that includes Tiger Woods' Tour Championship win in September, No. 16 UMBC after its upset of No. 1 Virginia in this year's NCAA tournament and the U.S. women's national team winning the 2015 World Cup.

Here's what the initial draft of the cover of the college basketball preview issue looked like until the Red Sox's title run forced the magazine to turn its attention to a baseball cover. The Blue Devils' freshmen–and social media studs– Tre Jones, RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish, Zion Williamson and Joey Baker are at the center.

Ranking Every Team in College Basketball, From Kansas (No. 1) to Delaware State (No. 353)

The magazine's latest issue also features over 25 pages of content previewing the new season for both the mean and the women, including 64 reasons to be excited about the 2018-19 season, a look inside Notre Dame's Arike Ogunbowale's upcoming senior campaign and much more.

Sports Illustrated

Check out all of SI.com's season preview content here, and to subscribte to Sports Illustrated, click here.

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