Two teams expected to make a deep NCAA tournament run will meet in Tuesday’s Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden.
No. 1 Duke had two games in less than 24 hours over the weekend, but No. 7 Kansas’ first challenge of the season was a ranked Indiana, to which it fell in overtime in Friday’s season-opener in Hawaii. The jet-lagged Jayhawks went straight from Hawaii to New York.
Duke, playing with a 100 percent healthy team, defeated Marist and Grand Canyon for a 2-0 start.
1. The Blue Devils can take advantage of fouls
Kansas committed an unusually high 32 personal fouls in its loss to Indiana. Its leading scorer that night, veteran Frank Mason III, fouled out. Through Duke’s first two games of the year, Duke’s opponents have totaled 48 fouls. Grayson Allen is 13-of-16 (.813) from the stripe.
2. Duke could reverse series’ streak
The last time Duke beat Kansas was in 2011 in Hawaii. The Blue Devils won, 68-61. The teams met in 2013, but Jabari Parker’s 27 points weren’t enough to outdo a Jayhawks team that featured Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins. While Kansas this season boasts a star freshman in Josh Jackson coupled with some returning vets, Duke is still playing with a lot of life without half of its top-ranked rookie class. Of course, that has the potential to change against a ranked opponent.
3. A continuation of Allen’s fire
Allen shined against Grand Canyon with a double-double of 25 points and 10 boards, all defensive rebounds. It was his biggest scoring night through two exhibition games and the opener, and this may be just the beginning for the ACC’s preseason player of the year.
Duke vs. Kansas
When: 9:30 Tuesday
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York