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Champions Classic Recap

November 10, 2021 Champions Classic Recap

By: Carlos Alvarez

College Basketball Season Begins With Some Stellar Performances

The college basketball season kicked off in a big way Tuesday night headlined by the 11th annual Champions Classic that featured a doubleheader with four of the biggest programs in the country. Here’s what went down in Madison Square Garden.


Ochai Agbaji Steals The Show 

The first game of the night saw No. 3 Kansas take down Tom Izzo’s Michigan State 87-74. The Jayhawks opened the season last night without Jalen Wilson, who is currently serving a four-game suspension following a DUI arrest last week. Senior guard Ochai Agbaji picked up the slack for Kansas, going off for a career-high 29 points on an efficient 9/17 from the field. While he has always been an elite athlete, Abaji showed off a much more polished offensive game against the Spartans, which could be a huge addition for Kansas as they aim to win their first National Championship since 2008.


Watch: Kansas Jayhawks vs. Michigan State Spartans Game Highlights


Duke’s Freshmen Duo Show Out 

The main event featured a star-studded battle of the bluebloods as the Kentucky Wildcats took on the Duke Blue Devils in an intense matchup that featured five 2022 1st-round NBA draft prospects. Duke ended up taking the victory (79-71) as freshmen Trevor Keels (25 PTS, 2 AST) and Paolo Banchero (22 PTS, 7 REB) dominated in their first collegiate games. Banchero in particular surely left NBA scouts salivating as he showed off elite shot-creating ability, all while operating at the height of 6’10”.


Watch: Kentucky Wildcats at Duke Blue Devils Game Highlights


Additional Storylines

SI: Ohio State Survives Season-Opening Upset Scare From Akron

ESPN: Surprises, Overreactions and Everything we Learned on Opening Night in Men’s college basketball


Photo: Lance King / Getty Images