No. 1 Duke v No. 7 Kansas: Stream on WatchESPN, ESPN
NEW YORK, Sporting Alert – No. 1 Duke and No. 7 Kansas will collide in a Champions Classic NCAA college men’s basketball game at the Madison Square Garden here in New York, Tuesday night.
The Blue Devils (2-0) are 2.5-point favourites to win against the Jayhawks (0-1), according to Vegasinsider.com, while the game total is set at 167.5 points.
But although the top-ranked team in the country is the early bookies favourite, college basketball pundits and analysts believe Kansas’ depth could create problems for Mike Krzyzewski’s team.
Duke knock off two unranked teams last week to open its season and looked solid doing so as well, despite playing without three talented freshmen, who head coach Krzyzewski revealed would not play this season until they are fully ready.
Kansas, in the meantime, which was third in the AP Top 25 rankings in preseason, was upset by then-No. 11 Indiana 103-99 in overtime on Friday.
The Jayhawks were unable to shake off the Hoosiers, despite getting a career-high 30 point performance from Frank Mason II, who had given Kansas a two-point lead with a three-point play with 2:27 left.
When Tuesday’s Champions Classic clash tips-off live on ESPN at 9:30pm ET and WatchESPN, Duke and Kansas will go head-to-head for the first time since they met in the 2013 State Farm Champions Classic.
The Jayhawks defeated the Blue Devils 94-83 in that encounter.
In head-to-head battles, the Duke Blue Devils lead the all-time series 7-3.
Meanwhile, according to the Jayhawks’ game notes, the 12-time defending Big 12 regular-season champions will be facing its first No. 1 opponent since it beat USA Today Coaches Poll No. 1 Oklahoma, 109- 106, in a thrilling triple overtime contest on Jan. 4, 2016.
At the same time, the game notes also revealed that Bill Self’s team will be going up against an Associated Press No. 1 side for the 24th time in school history.
Tuesday night’s clash with Duke will be the first time Kansas will take on an AP No. 1 team since the 2014 Champions Classic where it fell to Kentucky in Indianapolis.
Duke v Kansas: Champions Classic Players To Watch
As far of players to watch, Duke will be led by leading scorer Grayson Allen, who is averaging 20.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
He will be well supported by Luke Kennard, Amile Jefferson and freshman Frank Jackson, who is averaging 19.5 points per game in his early college career for the Blue Devils.
For Kansas, senior Mason will be the main threat, but expect the likes of fellow seniors Devonte’ Graham and Landen Lucas, as well as junior Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk to make big contributions in this Champions Classic matchup on Tuesday night.