(AP) — The opening week of the college basketball season had one marquee game, No. 3 Arizona’s win at No. 9 Duke.
Week 2 will have two on the same night at the same place.
The opening game of the State Farm Champions Classic in Chicago Tuesday night will feature Duke against No. 18 Michigan State. The nightcap at United Center will pit top-ranked Kansas against No. 17 Kentucky.
The nightcap at United Center will pit top-ranked Kansas against No. 17 Kentucky.
That’s some night of hoops.
The Blue Devils (1-1) went back and forth with the Wildcats all night at Cameron Indoor Stadium until Arizona hit six straight free throws in the final 20 seconds to win it.
Michigan State (1-1) entered the season with high expectations for a team loaded with talent and experience.
The Spartans took a big fall in this week’s poll, dropping 14 places after losing in overtime at home to No. 24 James Madison, which is ranked for the first time in program history.
Tyson Walker was superb for Michigan State, scoring 35 points, but he had the ball poked away from behind in the closing seconds.
“We’re in the process of growth, we’re learning a lot about ourselves, the things we need to correct,” Michigan State forward Malik Hall said. “I think it’s better now than in March.”
Kansas opened the season as the No. 1 team in the AP Top 25 and stayed there in the first regular-season poll after a pair easy wins. The Jayhawks (2-0) beat North Carolina Central by 44 points in their opener and followed with a 38-point win over Manhattan.
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Kansas will face a much stiffer test against Kentucky.
The Wildcats entered the season with plenty of questions, but coach John Calipari brought in one of his best freshmen classes in recent years. Kentucky looked good in its first two games, beating New Mexico State and Texas A&M Commerce by a combined 60 points.
“It’ll be a totally different animal than what we’ve experienced so far,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “We’ll be very excited about it. I know that both programs will and both sets of players and should be a lot of fun.”