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Duke opens its 2018-19 basketball season early – and against Kentucky

Duke guard Grayson Allen, left, tries to split Kentucky defenders forward Marcus Lee, right, and forward Derek Willis in 2015.
Duke guard Grayson Allen, left, tries to split Kentucky defenders forward Marcus Lee, right, and forward Derek Willis in 2015. cliddy@newsobserver.com

Duke will open its 2018-19 college basketball season on Nov. 6 against Kentucky, the school announced on Wednesday.

Opening night will be a few days earlier than normal. The NCAA Division I Council approved moving up the start of the men’s and women’s college basketball seasons to the Tuesday before the second Friday in November.

The Duke-Kentucky matchup will be part of the Champions Classic in Indianapolis. Michigan State will also play Kansas as part of the Classic.

Earlier this season, Duke beat then-No. 2 Michigan State in the Champions Classic, 88-81, in Chicago.

The Champions Classic began in 2011. Duke has a 4-3 record in the event.

“It’s incredibly exciting that they’re going to start the basketball season on such a high note and on a different date,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a press release. “I’m anxious to do something for the first time, and I think it’s a positive step in the right direction for our sport.”

Jonathan M. Alexander: 919-829-4822, @jonmalexander

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