Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Two of college basketball's winningest programs will collide in Chicago on Tuesday evening, as the fourth-ranked Duke Blue Devils and fifth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks meet up in the Champions Classic.
These are two of only four Division I programs that have reached the 2,000-win plateau. Kentucky leads the way (2,112), followed by Kansas (2,102), North Carolina (2,091) and Duke (2,002). These two teams have met nine previous times, with Duke winning seven of those meetings. Five of those clashes have taken place in the NCAA Tournament, with three Final Four matchups and one NCAA Championship Game.
Mike Krzyzewski's squad is coming off a 30-win season a year ago and despite several key players no longer left from that squad, the Blue Devils could be even better in 2013-14 thanks to an influx of All-American caliber talent in the frontcourt to go with a deep backcourt. Both strengths were on display in the season opener against Davidson, as the Blue Devils posted a 111-77 rout of the Wildcats.
Kansas posted 31 wins a season ago, earned a top seed in the NCAA Tournament and made a run to the Sweet 16. Bill Self landed college basketball's prized recruit this year in the form of Andrew Wiggins and as a result, the Jayhawks come into the 2013-14 campaign with goals much higher than just a Big 12 title. The Jayhawks opened the year at home last week against ULM and posted an 80-63 victory.
Kansas may have Wiggins, but if the talented Jayhawk is considered the top recruit coming into the season, Duke's Jabari Parker is a very close second. The 6-8 freshman made an immediate impact in his collegiate debut, erupting for 22 points and six rebounds in the win over Davidson. Parker got plenty of help in the frontcourt from Mississippi State transfer Rodney Hood, who also posted 22 points, just missing a double-double with nine rebounds. The scoring deluge continued with guards Quinn Cook and Rasheed Sulaimon pouring in 21 and 20 points, respectively. Cook was particularly sharp at the point, doling out nine assists with no turnovers in 34 minutes of action. Amile Jefferson rounded out the top scorers for Duke, tacking on 10 points for good measure. The Blue Devils shot a ridiculous 70.4 percent from the floor in the game, including 13-of-21 from behind the arc (.619).
Wiggins' debut with the Jayhawks was a little more subdued, as he posted a team-high 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting in the win over ULM. Wiggins was joined in double figures by Perry Ellis and Andrew White III, who chipped in with 12 points apiece. Kansas shot an impressive 53.5 percent from the floor in the game, and held a 36-27 advantage on the boards. It marked Kansas' 700th victory at the Allen Fieldhouse and was the 41st straight home-opening win for the Jayhawks. This will be Wiggins' team to lead this season, but others that will need to step up to maximize Kansas' potential and give the team balance include the 6-8 Ellis along with 6-9, 260-pound senior Tarik Black, who transferred in from Memphis. Black averaged nearly 10 points per game in three seasons with the Tigers and should give Kansas a real identity down low.