Dedric Lawson added 20 points, 14 rebounds, and six assists in his Kansas debut, this after sitting out all of last season after transferring over from Memphis. It was the Jayhawks' third straight win at the Champions Classic, as they improved to 15-1 overall in season openers under head coach Bill Self. They put up 50 points in the first half alone, which helped them overcome the Spartans' 51-point second half that helped them cut the deficit to as close as three.
The Jayhawks never trailed in the second half, despite the scoring getting down to 90-87 with 34 seconds left, but free throws helped Kansas stay ahead for good. Michigan State was led by Joshua Langford's 18 points, while Kenny Goins had a career-high double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds in the loss. The Spartans move on to their home opener against Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday. Kansas will open their home schedule on Monday against Vermont.
Later Tuesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Duke Blue Devils proved to be everything we thought they were, and much, much more. The fourth-ranked Blue Devils dominated from start to finish, cruising past No. 2 Kentucky, 118-84 to finish off the Champions Classic in a stunning way. R.J. Barrett led the charge with 33 points in his college debut, while Zion Williamson impressed in his much-anticipated debut with 28 points, which included plenty of flash and highlight-reel plays.
The Blue Devils put up consecutive 59-point halves and shot 54 percent from the floor, including 46 percent from three-point range, all to give head coach Mike Krzyzewski his 1,101st career win. Barrett added six assists and four rebounds, while shooting 13-of-26 from the floor, and Williamson added seven rebounds and was 11-of-13 on the night. It was the Blue Devils' eighth win in the past 10 meetings against the Wildcats, who suffered their first season-opening loss under head coach John Calipari, and most lopsided loss of his tenure.
The two teams set a Champions Classic record for most combined points, which was actually set in the Kansas-Michigan State game earlier in the night. Keldon Johnson led the Wildcats with 23 points, while Reid Travis chipped in 22 in the loss. It did not take long for Duke to establish dominance on this night, jumping out to a 34-13 lead in the first half. They will open their home schedule on Sunday afternoon against Army, while Kentucky will do the same on Friday night against Southern Illinois.