1 Kentucky announced to the world their cruel intentions.
Duke's newcomers never doubted they could win this convincingly. Kentucky shot 44 percent from the field but allowed the Blue Devils to shoot 54 percent. Kentucky will take on Southern Illinois on Saturday.
The Wildcats' graduate transfer forward had the same look of shock and awe that nearly everyone in attendance Tuesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse wore on their faces in the aftermath of No. 4 Duke's 118-84 rout of No. 2 Kentucky in the highly anticipated season opener for both teams.
It marked Kentucky's worst loss since a 76-41 setback to LSU on January 18, 1987, and the most lopsided in John Calipari's 27 years as a college head coach. "We have to do some soul searching", Calipari said after the game.
Zion Williamson and fourth-ranked Duke were well on their way to a blowout victory when the high-flying freshman blocked a shot to start yet another Blue Devil fastbreak. He was a terror in transition, he was unstoppable when he turned the corner and he oh-by-the-way hit 3-of-7 threes. And if you foul, I'm taking you out.
The same can be said about Williamson, although that wasn't necessarily a given entering the season.
Watching Zion Williamson, Duke's extraterrestrial 6-foot-8, 285-pound forward, put up 28 points while slicing through the air effortlessly with rim-rocking dunks and breathtaking blocks, brings one to the alter of basketball hyperbole. But there were legitimate questions about how well that would translate to the college level, where player are closer to his size, and his strength, and his athleticism.
They produced basket after basket, big play after big play.
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Kentucky: "It's tough when you go down like that", Travis said. Travis didn't stand a chance, which is a problem because anyone that actually had a prayer of keeping Zion in front bounced off the mini-coopers that he calls shoulders like my three-year old bounces off a trampoline.
That put Kentucky in a nightmare scenario. That did not go well.
Tuesday night's Champions Classic was as impressive of a premiere as college basketball could have hoped for.
"To play this well on this stage, right away against Kentucky is surprising, " Krzyzewski said.
15-4 - Turnovers for United Kingdom and Duke, respectively. Although the younger Jones only scored six points, he was Tyus-like in running the point for 30 minutes without committing a single turnover while dishing out seven assists. Along with his three assists and a plus-minus of 35-the highest on the team-White's ability to keep Duke's offensive momentum going should not be overlooked.
And what can anyone do to beat them? "Before I get fined, I'm going to change the subject".
We could see that coming then.