Thursday, December 2, 2021

No. 9 Duke defeats No. 10 Kentucky in Champions Classic

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher 

The No. 9 Duke Blue Devils won the night-capper of the 2021 State Farm Champions Classic. The Blue Devils defeated No. 10 Kentucky Wildcats, 79-71, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

With the win, the Blue Devils improved to 1-0 on the season. The Wildcats fell to 0-1.

Duke Blue Devils star Paolo Banchero asks the crowd to get louder against the Kentucky Wildcats
Paolo Banchero asks the crowd to get louder against the Kentucky Wildcats (Photo by Duke Men’s Basketball/Instagram)

This is the first game of what will be at least 30 games in the final campaign of Blue Devils legend Mike Krzyzewski, who announced his retirement earlier this year. The 74-year-old will coach this season before assistant coach John Scheyer will take over the program.

Freshman Trevor Keels led the Blue Devils with 25 points. He also had one rebound and two assists.

Duke had three players, who scored in double figures. Freshman Paolo Banchero had 22 points, while junior Wendell Moore Jr. contributed 12 points.

Combined, the freshman had 47 points in Coach K’s final game at MSG. Both Banchero and Keels are projected to be first-round draft picks in the 2022 NBA Draft.

Banchero is projected to be the top pick in the draft.

The Blue Devils had nine bench points. Graduate student Theo John led the bench with five points.

Junior Oscar Tshiebwe led the Wildcats with 17 points. He also had 19 rebounds and one assist.

Kentucky had just two players, who scored in double-digits. Junior Sahvir Wheeler had 16 points in his Wildcats debut following two seasons with the Georgia Bulldogs.

The Wildcats had 11 bench points. Graduate student Davion Mintz led the bench with five points.

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Anthony Caruso IIIhttps://thecapitalsportsreport.com
Anthony Caruso III is the Publisher of The Capital Sports Report. He has been in the sports journalism field since 2002 and has covered numerous high-profile events, including 10 Heisman Trophy ceremonies.
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