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Duke thumps Kentucky in showdown

INDIANAPOLIS – It's just one game. But holy crap. <p class = "canvas-atom canvas text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) –…

INDIANAPOLIS – It’s just one game.

But holy crap.

<p class = “canvas-atom canvas text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm “type =” text “content =” What Duke did to Kentucky on Tuesday night started the season and might have simultaneously ended it too. The Blue Devils looked like the Alabama of college basketball, absolutely atomizing the No. 2 team in the nation, 1

18-84 . Forty minutes into 2018-19, it’s already time to wonder who’s going to beat these guys. ” data-reaction = “33”> What Duke did to Kentucky on Tuesday night started the season and might have simultaneously ended it too. The Blue Devils looked like the Alabama of college basketball, absolutely atomizing the No. 2 team in the nation, 118-84. Forty minutes into 2018-19, it’s already time to wonder who’s going to beat these guys.

<p class = “canvas-atom canvas text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) ) – sm “type =” text “content =” Kentucky was supposed to be one of the teams that can beat Duke. And Kentucky just got boat-raced like it was Oral Roberts . ” data-reaction = “34”> Kentucky was supposed to be one of the teams that can beat Duke. And Kentucky just got boat-raced like it was Oral Roberts.

This was an intoxicating display of, well, everything. Whatever it takes to be good at basketball, a Duke team starting four freshmen did it.

With ease. With poise. With confidence. With flamboyance.

With a huge Kentucky crowd having migrated up Interstate 65 and turning this into a wildcat home game, the baby Blue Devils bathed in the atmosphere and balled out. There was no wading into this college basketball thing. No trial and error. No stage fright or growing pains or any of the freshman cliches.

<p class = “canvas-atom canvas text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm” type = “text” content = “When you land a historic recruiting class, with the Nos. 1-3-5 players in the Rivals.com rankings you hope they’re precociously ready – but Mike Krzyzewski couldn ‘ I have expected this. ” data-reaction = “38”> When you land a historic recruiting class, with the Nos. 1-3-5 players in the Rivals.com rankings, you hope they are precociously ready – but Mike Krzyzewski could not have expected this.

“Four freshmen, no matter how talented they are, you do not know what they’re going to do, “Krzyzewski said.” They were magnificent tonight. “

<p class =” canvas-atom canvas text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) -sm “type =” text “content =” RJ Barrett (hello, No. 1 draft pick in 2019), Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish and Three Jones showed up and showed off. Barrett, the skilled and assertive left-hander from Canada, went for 33 points, six rebounds and four assists in 32 minutes. Williamson, the startlingly athletic hulk, had 28 points and seven rebounds. The fluid Reddish had 22 points and four steals. And poor overshadowed Jones had a team-high seven assists. ” data reactid = “40”> R. J. Barrett (hello, No. 1 draft pick in 2019), Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish and Tre Jones showed up and showed off. Barrett, the skilled and assertive left-hander from Canada, went for 33 points, six rebounds and four assists in 32 minutes. Williamson, the startlingly athletic hulk, had 28 points and seven rebounds. The fluid Reddish had 22 points and four steals. And poor overshadowed Jones had a team-high seven assists.

This promises to be a regular highlight in college basketball this season: Duke forward Zion Williamson goes up for a dunk. It was two of his 28 points on Tuesday against Kentucky. (AP)

They sliced ​​through, floated past and shot over a bewildered Kentucky team that actually had the experience advantage in this game. This was the debut to all debuts.

“If they play like that,” said Kentucky coach John Calipari, “they’re not losing many. If that’s who they are. “

Who they are is the most talented team in America. It’s rare – really weird – for a Calipari Kentucky team to be completely over-matched from a talent standpoint, but the Wildcats were. Da du faktor i den svimlende forsvaret og fiaskoen til at tenaciously konkurrere, og det er hvordan dette snakkes ind i det værste tab i Cal’s 10-season tenure at UK.

He annually has the youngest team in this Champions Classic doubleheader. This time he did not, but the younger and better team won. Big. This was a rout before the midway point of the first half.

Cal said he told his team during one timeout huddle, “I think you guys thought this was going to be easy.”

If the Wildcats listened to their fans, that’s possible. The Kentucky faithful lead the nation in wild mood swings, and after bludgeoning a few random teams during a tour of the Bahamas in August, Big Blue Nation swung to delusions of grandeur. It saw visions of a ninth national championship banner – based on an exhibition tour in August.

One embarrassing real game into November, the mood will swing back the other way.

Kentucky probably will be fine in the long run.

Duke probably will be better.

Krzyzewski now is beating Calipari at his own game, the one-and-done, clean-a-star system. Sometimes it works out great, like winning the 2015 national title – the last time either Duke or Kentucky made the Final Four.

Sometimes it does not work perfectly. The 2016-18 Duke teams did not win an Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season championship. Only one of them (2016) won an ACC tournament title. None of them reached a Final Four.

This team, despite its massive talent infusion, had some questions to answer. Could what is basically a collection of three wing forwards coexist? Could they play big enough? Kunne de dele ballen bra nok? Could they figure out who is the alpha male and who are the supporting actors?

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