By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Kentucky Wildcats had a better preseason ranking than the Duke Blue Devils. However, the No. 4 ranked team gave the No. 2 ranked team a lopsided loss.
The Blue Devils won 118-84 over the Wildcats in the State Farm Champions Classic in Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Duke improved to 1-0 on the season. Kentucky fell to 0-1 on the season.
The Blue Devils’ 34-point win is the third-largest win ever in a game between Associated Press Top 5 teams, according to ESPN’s Stats & Information. It’s also the largest loss for Kentucky head coach John Calipari in his head coaching career, either at the NCAA or NBA level.
All four of Duke’s freshman (R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish, and Tre Jones) outscored Kentucky’s roster by themselves, with an 89-84 score. Barrett and Williams broke the previous record for the most points by a Duke freshman in their debut.
Barrett had 33 points, while Williamson had 28. Marvin Bagley III had the previous record of 25 points during the 2017-18 season. Barrett was also just one point shy of breaking Bagley III’s freshman record with 34 points against Texas.
The Mississauga, Ontario, Canada native — who played high school basketball at Montverde Academy in Florida — led the Blue Devils with his 33 points. He also had four rebounds and six assists.
He was one of three Duke players, who scored in double-figures. Williamson had his aforementioned 28, and Reddish also contributed 22.
The Blue Devils had 22 bench points. Jack White and Alex O’Connell led the bench with nine points each.
White also had 11 rebounds, three assists, and two steals. O’Connell had three rebounds.
Keldon Johnson led the Wildcats with 23 points. He also had four rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block.
He was one of three Kentucky players, who scored in double-figures. Reid Travis had 22 points, while Tyler Herro contributed 14 points.
Kentucky had just nine bench points. E.J. Montgomery had eight points. He also had six rebounds and one assist.