Return Of College Basketball
Earlier this year college basketball faced a major problem. The FBI launched an investigating revealing that some top programs bribed players. Another black eye for college basketball and the NCAA, no strangers to controversy. Multiple coaches have been fired as a result including Louisville’s head coach Rick Pitino. Last night the annual Championship Classic took place, needed more than ever. The top-ranked team in the country, Duke, faced off against the second-ranked team in the country, Michigan State. Following that game, the third-ranked Kentucky faced off against the fourth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks. These games were close and entertaining. For one night people clearly understood why college basketball has become so popular.
Photo Credit: Getty
Michigan State Vs. Duke
This game between the nation’s top two teams did not disappoint. In a close battle, Duke came out with a 87-81 win. The Blue Devils started four freshmen last night and one senior. The Freshman have tremendous talent. But last night they looked stunned by the big stage. This caused Duke to turn to their senior Grayson Allen. While very talented, last year he faced a lot of on-court controversy. Last night he stepped up to score 37 points to lead his team to the W. After this loss, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo fell to 1-11 all-time versus Duke.
Photo Credit: Mike Mulholland ( MLive.com)
Kansas Vs. Kentucky
This matchup featured the two schools with the most wins in college basketball history. A closely contested game, it did not disappoint. Both teams were not as sharp as usual, with 29 turnovers between the two. The Jayhawks came out victorious 65-61. Kansas received strong contributions from Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk who scored 17 points and center Udoka Azubuike who scored 13 points. Even though the Kentucky freshman struggled, Kevin Knox was the exception. He scored 20 points and made three pointers. The Wildcats main problem in this game was rebounding, giving up 18 offensive rebounds. Both teams must improve going forward and limit their turnovers as their schedules become more challenging.
Photo Credit: Nick Krug
What these games Revealed
Both games were entertaining and close in the final minutes. Duke could be dangerous once their young freshman becomes more comfortable. And Kentucky is still looking for a star to lead them. All these teams should improve as the season goes on. Come tournament time they will be very entertaining to watch.