X-Factor No. 1: Point guard play
Duke has a lot of guards and small forwards who can play along the perimeter, but Quinn Cook is the only real point guard on the team. Whether it's because of foul trouble or just to catch his breath, Cook will likely come out of the game at one point or another—and it's at those times that Kansas should look to capitalize.
Between Naadir Tharpe, Frank Mason and Conner Frankamp, the Jayhawks have three point guards who could play significant minutes. Having to occasionally count on a "backup" ball handler is less of a detriment to Kansas than to Duke.
X-Factor No. 2: Minutes played by 7-foot centers
Including his redshirt freshman year, this is Marshall Plumlee's third year under Krzyzewski's tutelage, and he looks about as polished as the pair of dress shoes in the back of my closet. If the youngest Plumlee is going to make a huge contribution to Duke's season, it'll be about as surprising as the out-of-nowhere numbers that Brian Zoubek put up for the championship team in 2009-10.
Joel Embiid, on the other hand, was the highest rated center in this year's recruiting class and is expected to be a top-10 draft pick. In Kansas' opener, Embiid scored nine points and grabbed four rebounds in just 11 minutes of work. If Coach Self turns Embiid loose on Duke and forces Coach Krzyzewski to give a lot of minutes to Plumlee, it's a considerable advantage for Kansas.
Contribution from the big men will be huge, because according to Dick Vitale, "The team that dominates the glass and shoots better on the foul line will have the advantage."
X-Factor No. 3: Three pointers
Duke shot 62 percent from behind the arc in the season opener. That will probably never happen again, but Duke has a plethora of players who could suddenly catch fire from long range. When Cook, Sulaimon, Parker and Hood are on the court at the same time, it's impossible to effectively guard them all while still protecting the paint.