Kansas guard Frank Mason, left, and Fort Hays State's Craig Nicholson (3) chase a loose ball during the first half of an exhibition game Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013 in Lawrence, KS. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Champions Classic Sets Up Basketball Powers Kansas vs. Duke
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Facing its highest-ranked opponent since the 2012 NCAA Championship game, the No. 5/6 Kansas men’s basketball team will square off against No. 4/4 Duke in the State Farm Champions Classic Tuesday night inside the United Center in Chicago.
Following its 700th all-time victory in historic Allen Fieldhouse, No. 5/6 Kansas (1-0) will face No. 4/4 Duke (1-0) in the State Farm Champions Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 8:30 p.m. (Central) on ESPN. The contest, to be played at the United Center in Chicago, will be the second of the Champions Classic doubleheader with the Michigan State-Kentucky game starting at 6:30 p.m. The Jayhawks defeated Louisiana at Monroe, 80-63, in their home opener Friday, Nov. 8, to earn the KU men’s basketball program the milestone victory in Allen Fieldhouse. Duke posted a 111-77 home win versus Davidson, also on Nov. 8.
Duke will be the highest ranked team Kansas will have faced since the 2012 NCAA National Championship title game when KU lost to No. 1 Kentucky 67-59 in New Orleans.
· Kansas and Duke are two of the winningest programs in college basketball. Here are some notables about the Jayhawks and Blue Devils:
· Kansas and Duke are two of only four NCAA Division I men’s basketball programs with 2,000-plus all-time victories: Kentucky (2,112), KANSAS (2,102), North Carolina (2,091) and Duke (2,002).
· Dating back to 1990, Kansas’ 24 current consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances is the nation’s longest active streak. Duke is next with 18.
· KU has five national championships, including three NCAA titles, while Duke has four NCAA championships.
· Kansas ranks fourth in all-time NCAA Tournament games played at 136. Duke is fifth at 132.
· Kansas and Duke have met nine times, including seven on neutral floors and five in the NCAA Tournament.
Kansas is 1-0 on the season after defeating Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) 80-63 on Nov. 8. The Jayhawks shot 53.5 percent from the field and outrebounded the Warhawks 36-27. KU showed its depth with by outscoring ULM’s bench 33-14 for the game. Freshman preseason All-American guard Andrew Wiggins led KU with 16 points, while sophomore forward Perry Ellis and sophomore guard Andrew White III each scored 12. Ellis led all rebounders with eight in the victory. Freshman guard Frank Mason got his first career start and paced KU with five assists, while Wiggins had a team-best three steals. Freshman guard Wayne Selden, Jr. (eight points, four assists) and senior forward Tarik Black (eight points, seven rebounds) joined Ellis, Wiggins and Mason in the starting lineup for Kansas. Key players off the bench with White included sophomore forward Jamari Traylor (five points, two rebounds), freshman center Joel Embiid (nine points, four rebounds in 11 minutes) and freshman guard Conner Frankamp (five points, three rebounds).
Kansas returns nine letterwinners from last season’s team which went 31-6 and won an NCAA-best 56th, the 13th Big 12 and an unprecedented ninth-straight regular-season conference title. The Jayhawks also won the Big 12 postseason championship, KU’s ninth in the Big 12 and 13th all-time.
The Jayhawks entered lat season’s NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed and advanced to KU’s 30th Sweet 16. KU’s 31 victories marked the 12th time in school history the Jayhawks won 30 or more games, including six under head coach Bill Self.
Ellis is KU’s leading returning scorer at 5.8 points per game and rebounder at 3.9 boards per contest in 2012-13. Ellis came on strong down the stretch for KU last season being named to the Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team. Junior guard Naadir Tharpe ranked 12th in the Big 12 in 2012-13 in assists per game at 3.1. He averaged 5.5 points per outing. He sat out the ULM (11/8) game after Kansas self-reported his participation in a pro-am game during the summer of 2013.
Traylor (2.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg) averaged nearly 10 minutes per game for KU in 2012-13, while White scored 2.2 points per game and has proven he can be a three-point threat for the Jayhawks. Redshirt freshman forward Landen Lucas could also have an immediate impact having been in the KU system for one season. Look for forward Justin Wesley and guard Niko Roberts to also provide leadership heading into their senior campaigns.
Reloading in a hurry from losing five starters from 2012-13, Self and his staff welcome eight newcomers to the 2013-14 roster, including the nation’s No. 1 recruit in Wiggins. A transfer from Memphis, Black will provide leadership for his final year of playing collegiately. Black is 43 points shy of his 1,000th career point in college. Assisting on the inside will be Embiid. Joining Wiggins, Mason, Selden and Frankamp on the perimeter is freshman guard Brannen Greene.
Forward Hunter Mickelson will sit out 2013-14 after transferring from Arkansas. He will be a junior for the Jayhawks in 2014-15. Together, KU’s class of 2013 comprises the second-ranked recruiting class in the country.
Located in Durham, N.C., with an enrollment of 6,484, Duke is preseason ranked No. 4 and 1-0 on the season after its 111-77 win against Davidson on Nov. 8. The Blue Devils are coached by Mike Krzyzewski, the all-time winningest coach in college basketball with a 958-297 overall record in his 39th season, including an 885-238 mark in his 34th season at Duke. Duke returns two starters and 10 letterwinners from last season’s 30-6 team which finished second in the ACC with a 14-4 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. Junior guard Quinn Cook is Duke’s leading returning scorer at 11.7 ppg, followed closely by sophomore guard Rasheed Sulaimon at 11.6 ppg. Both are returning starters.
In the win versus Davidson, four Blue Devils scored 20 or more points, led by sophomore forward Rodney Hood and freshman forward Jabari Parker who each had 22. Hood led all rebounders with nine boards in the win. Cook scored 21 points with a team-high eight assists, while Sulaimon came off the bench to score 20 points and pull down seven rebounds. As a team, Duke shot 70.4 percent from the field in the victory.
Though only started in 1985, Kansas and Duke have had quite the series with Duke leading 7-2. Seven of the nine matchups have been on neutral floors while five of the games have been NCAA Tournament matchups including three Final Fours and one NCAA title game. The first meeting came in the 1985 Preseason NIT championship game in Madison Square Garden, which Duke won 92-86. The same two teams met in Dallas in the Final Four semifinal later that season, a game which was the first meeting of two 30-win teams. Duke won that contest 71-67. In 1988, Duke traveled to Lawrence for a February non-conference battle and came away with a 74-70 overtime victory in Allen Fieldhouse. Later that season the two teams met again, this time in the Final Four semifinal, with Kansas defeating Duke, 66-59, at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo. The national title was on the line in the 1991 meeting, a Duke 72-65 win in Indianapolis. The Blue Devils ended the Jayhawks’ season in the second round of the 2000 NCAA Tournament in Winston Salem, N.C., while KU returned the favor in the 2003 Sweet 16 in Anaheim, Calif., en route to its Final Four run. Duke won the most recent meeting, 68-61, in the title game of the 2011 Maui Invitational. At least one of the two teams has been ranked nationally in each of the last eight matchups, including nine having one or both teams ranked seventh or higher at tip.
A Kansas Win Would…
Make Kansas 1-2 in the Champions Classic… Give Kansas a 2-0 record for the sixth time in the Bill Self 11-season era… Give Kansas wins against Duke in two of the last three series meetings… Make the Kansas-Duke series 7-3 in favor of the Blue Devils… Make KU 49-26 against ranked foes in the Self era… Make Self 302-59 while at Kansas and 509-164 overall… Make KU 2,103-812 all-time.
A Kansas Loss Would…
Drop Kansas to 0-3 in the Champions Classic… Make Kansas 1-1 for the fifth time in the Bill Self 11-season era… Give Duke its second-straight win against Kansas… Make the KU-Duke series 8-3 in favor of the Blue Devils… Make KU 48-27 against ranked foes in the Self era… Make Self 301-60 while at Kansas and 508-165 overall… Make Kansas 2,102-813 all-time.
This Day in Kansas Basketball History
Kansas is 1-0 on Nov. 12
Nov. 12, 2010: In its only regular-season game played on Nov. 12, Kansas defeated Longwood, 113-75, in the 2010-11 season opener. Markieff Morris (14 points, 11 rebounds) and Tyshawn Taylor (17 points, 10 assists) each recorded double-doubles in the game, while Marcus Morris led all scorers with 18 points. Thomas Robinson added 16 points and seven rebounds in the win which saw KU’s bench players score 48 points. Kansas went on to post a 35-3 record including a 14-2 Big 12 regular-season championship mark. The Jayhawks won the Big 12 Championship in Kansas City and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
Kansas returns home to host Iona on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse. The KU-Iona game will be televised on Jayhawk IMG Television/ESPN3 and ESPN Full Court.