Duke vs. Kentucky Game Notes

Zion Williamson | Photo: Chris Summerville

No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 4 Duke
When: Nov. 6 | 9:30 PM (ET)
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Watch Live: ESPN
Listen Live: Blue Devil IMG Sports Network, Radio Affiliates

The Opening Tip

  • The fourth-ranked Duke men’s basketball team opens the program’s 114th season with a marquee showdown versus second-ranked Kentucky in the State Farm Champions Classic.
  • The Blue Devils and Wildcats are each 4-3 in the seven previous Champions Classics, while Kansas and Michigan State are each 3-4.
  • A match-up between two of the four winningest programs in NCAA history, Duke and Kentucky have met 21 times. The Blue Devils have won seven of the last nine meetings.
  • These two programs lead college basketball in number of former players on 2018 opening-day NBA rosters — the Blue Devils had 25, while the Wildcats had 31.
  • Duke was picked as the preseason favorite in the ACC, with freshman RJ Barrett tapped the ACC’s Preseason Freshman of the Year. Barrett (first team) and Zion Williamson (second team), were each named Preseason All-ACC.
  • Duke welcomes the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class this season, headlined by the No. 1 prospect Barrett and No. 2 Williamson. Cam Reddish is No. 3 and Tre Jones is No. 10. The fifth freshman, Joey Baker, was a 2019 Duke commit that reclassified to the 2018 class.
  • Juniors Javin DeLaurier and Jack White have been named captains by Coach K for the 2018-19 season.
  • Ranked No. 4 in the preseason AP poll, Duke is in the AP’s preseason top five for a sixth straight year.

114th Season of Duke Basketball
The 2018-19 campaign will mark the 114th season of Duke Basketball. The Blue Devils have compiled a 2,144-881 all-time record to rank fourth all-time in victories…Only Kentucky (2,265), Kansas (2,248) and North Carolina (2,232) have more all-time wins than Duke…Duke’s all-time .709 winning percentage is also the fourth-best in NCAA history, behind only Kentucky (.764), North Carolina (.738) and Kansas (.726).

Duke Caps Exhibitions 5-0
Duke was 5-0 in its exhibition schedule, winning three games on the Duke Canada Tour in August and defeating a pair of Division-II teams in October…Duke averaged 104.6 points in those games with Barrett and Williamson combining for 55 percent of those points…The Blue Devils have traditionally played their exhibition games against the reigning CIAA Champion (Virginia Union) and the reigning NCAA Division II Champion (Ferris State)…Duke beat Virginia Union, 106-64, and Ferris State, 132-48…On the Duke Canada Tour in August — the fifth foreign tour in the Coach K era — Duke defeated three Canadian colleges in front of sold-out crowds in Toronto and Montreal.

Duke-Kentucky History
Two of the four winningest programs in NCAA history, Duke and Kentucky have met just 21 times with the Wildcats holding a 12-9 series lead…The recent history has favored the Blue Devils, with Duke winning seven of the last nine…In the Champions Classic, the teams have split a pair of meetings — UK winning, 74-63, in 2015 in Chicago, and Duke winning, 75-68, in Atlanta in 2012…Coach K is 5-2 versus Kentucky.

Duke in Indianapolis
Duke and the city of Indianapolis have enjoyed a long and successful history as the Blue Devils are 11-2 when playing in Indiana’s capital city…Three of Duke’s five national championships have come in Indianapolis (the other two in Minneapolis) — 1991 at the RCA Dome and 2010 and 2015 at Lucas Oil Stadium…Duke is 2-0 when playing at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, beating UCLA, 84-73, in the 2002 Wooden Tradition and Michigan State, 81-71, in the 2014 Champions Classic.

On This Date
November 6th marks the earliest start to a season in Duke’s history. The Blue Devils have never played a game earlier than November 8th….The 2013-14 season began on November 8 — a 111-77 win over Davidson at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

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