The Duke Blue Devils are facing off against the Kansas Jayhawks in the finals of the Maui Invitational.
Duke and coach Mike Krzyzewski have a perfect 14-0 record and four titles in their five appearances in the early season Hawaiian tournament and are looking to cap off the fifth with a win tonight.
Kansas coach Bill Self wanted his Jayhawks team to take on the Blue Devils in the finals once he saw the seeding, and got his wish.
It’s going to be a great game, and perhaps one we will see again come March Madness deep in the tournament.
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about this exciting matchup.
Where: Lahaina Civic Center, Maui, HI
When: Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 10:00 p.m. EDT
Listen: Blue Devil IMG Sports Network 620 AM: Duke, Sports Radio 810 WHB AM: Kansas
Betting Line: Duke -4.5
No Major Injuries to Report
Ben McLemore and Jamari Taylor, OUT (Ineligible): These two KU freshmen have been ruled out for the season due to transcript issues.
What's At Stake?
These two historic teams have not met since the 2003 regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament, when Kansas won that game, 69-65.
Duke is currently 6-0 and sitting at No. 6 in the nation, while Kansas is at No. 14 with a 3-1 record.
A win here for either team is going to improve their standings in the Top 25 poll and assert early season dominance. It’s also a signature win come tournament time to help their seeding.
This game is also a test for both teams to see where they are at and what they need to improve on as the season really starts to heat up.
What They're Saying
John Marshall of the Associated Press found that Coach K was impressed with his team’s shooting against Michigan that got them into the finals.
"We hit some amazing three's, but they were good shots," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "And we missed some good ones, too."
J. Brady McCollough over at The Kansas City Star found that KU junior guard Elijah Johnson is capable to step up and lead his team and be a solid third option out there.
“The game was slow for me today,” Johnson said. “I felt like I had to help Tyshawn [Taylor] and T-Rob [Thomas Robinson] out and take pressure off of them. I just wanted to control the team today. Ty had to sit out at a point (with foul trouble), and I wanted to let them know there are still some leaders out there on the floor.”
Players to Watch
Duke: Austin Rivers
Is there any other player on Duke that has ever been under more scrutiny than Doc Rivers’ son?
Sure, Kyrie Irving was the No. 1 overall draft pick last year and played for the Blue Devils, but Rivers is one of the best prospects the program has ever landed and is expected to lead them to greatness and be a top selection in the draft as well.
A transcendent game today would see his star power shoot through the roof.
Kansas: Tyshawn Taylor
Taylor is pumped up about this finals matchup and is ready to shine on a big stage.
"This is one of the games when you come to Kansas, you sign up for," said Taylor, who had 13 points and six assists versus UCLA. "This is one of those games we'll probably always remember."
If he has a good game, the Jayhawks have a great chance to pull off the upset.
Kansas defense vs. Duke three-point shooting.
If Duke heats up from three like they did against Michigan, KU has no chance of beating the four-time tournament winners.
They need to get out to the perimeter and guard their shooter, especially Seth Curry, who is 14-of-24 from downtown on the season and the brother of NBA superstar sniper Stephon.
Duke 73, Kansas 72.
This is going to be a close game, and it’s going to go down to the wire. I think Duke edges the Jayhawks on a late shot to go up a point and seals the game with tight defense on the final possession.
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