The Kansas Jayhawks and Duke Blue Devils square off Tuesday night in the first of a fantastic doubleheader at Madison Square Garden. What can we expect to see from these two teams?
Matchup: (3) Kansas Jayhawks (0-0) vs (4) Duke Blue Devils (0-0)
Date and time: Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 7:00 p.m. ET
TV schedule: ESPN
Location: Madison Square Garden, NY
Kansas is coming off a very rare season for them in which they did not win the Big 12 for the first time in 14 years. They are looking for a bounce-back year and one where they can keep their players healthy, namely Udoka Azubuike. He is a huge talent for the Jayhawks but has struggled to stay on the court. He lost most of the last two seasons and Kansas is hoping for a big year out of him.
Duke had another great year come up short as they lost to the Michigan State Spartans in the Elite Eight last year. An NCAA tournament favorite led by Zion Williamson came up short of winning the ACC and a national championship. Now they must rely on freshmen once again to come in and shoulder most of the load.
The good news for the Blue Devils is that they return starting point guard Tre Jones and he should help steady the early season troubles Duke may have. He will be surrounded by highly-touted freshman Cassius Stanley, Wendell Moore, Matthew Hurt, and Vernon Carey Jr. Duke is going to be good, but how quickly the freshman can settle in will go a long way to how good they can be.
Kansas will counter with more experience as they are projected to start two sophomores, a junior and senior. The lone newcomer that may be starting is Jalen Wilson a freshman who was originally committed to Michigan but switched over to Kansas late. The Jayhawks return Devon Dotson (12.3 ppg), Ochai Agbaji (8.5 ppg), and Azubuike who averaged just over 13 points per game before he was injured. They also are getting back Silvio De Sousa after he was declared ineligible last year
Both teams are no stranger to having the spotlight on them for their first game. Last year Duke ran Kentucky out of the gym and Kansas slipped by Michigan State. Now they get to play each other and see who will come out on top.
Will the youth and talent of the Blue Devils have the upper hand or will the experience of the Jayhawks be too much? It is an interesting matchup between two storied programs and one thins if for sure both teams are happy to be on the court and playing meaningful games.