The Championship Classic delivered in full effect on Tuesday night with some amazing games and reminded us that college basketball is back! Duke handled Michigan St. and Kansas edged out Kentucky in two close and extremely entertaining games.
Duke Is The Clear #1:
After losing number one ranked freshman star Marvin Bagley early in the first half to an eye injury. Duke was without their best player for essentially the entire game. It was going to be an uphill battle for the Blue Devils.
Duke had to lean on their backcourt for the rest of the game and Grayson Allen and Trevon Duval picked up the slack to carry Duke to a 88-81 victory.
Grayson Allen was controlling the pace of the game the entire time and his shot from three was something to marvel at. He ended up with 7-11 shooting from beyond the arc and was perfect on free throws hitting 8-8. Duval and Allen had amazing chemistry in the backcourt slinging the ball around to the open man every chance they got.
Duval struggled from three point land going 0-4, but that was the only thing he struggled in against Michigan State. Duval stuffed the stat sheet finishing the night with 10 assists, six steals, three rebounds and 17 points.
Marvin Bagley’s injury does not seem to be serious and he is scheduled to play against Southern University on Friday as long as the eye irritation is down. It’s not like they need him to beat the Southern Jaguars anyway so it wouldn’t be surprising if they end up sitting him just to be cautious.
If this game is any indication how the season is going to unfold then look for Duke to remain the number one team for the entire year. If they can play the way they did on Tuesday and add a healthy Marvin Bagley thats the scariest team in college basketball by far.
Kansas In The Clutch:
Kansas had a back and forth game with Kentucky on Tuesday night and it was close down until the final few possessions. It was a classic between two programs who know each other so well, with 12 lead changes and 10 ties in the 65-61 Kansas victory. The biggest factor was Kentucky’s inability to hold on to the ball turning it over 18 times and letting Kansas grab 18 offensive rebounds to their 10.
The world of college basketball is primarily dominated by one and done freshman, but it was the seniors Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Devonte’ Graham who propelled Kansas to victory against the Wildcats.
Mykhailiuk finished with 17 points on the night even though he struggled from the field shooting 7-18 and 3-10 from three. It was his effort late in the game that really made a difference for his team.
it was a one point game going into the final two minutes and the Jayhawks outscored Kentuckey seven to four and stepped up their defense when it mattered most.
Graham iced the game with eight seconds left hitting both of his free throws putting them up by four points to seal the deal. After his atrocious shooting throughout the game going 3-14 he had to have felt the pressure in the closing seconds but gained his composure and won the game.
Kansas is going to need to step up drastically step up their shooting if they intend to keep up with the Blue Devils this year but this win is a huge momentum boost for Bill Self and his squad.
Overall the Championship Classic was great and adds some more fuel to the fire for this college basketball season. It’s looking like a great year for college basketball.
Featured Photo By Bleacher Report
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