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Duke vs. Kentucky: Champions Classic 2021 Odds and Live Stream Schedule

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistNovember 8, 2021

Duke center Mark Williams (15) gets direction from head coach Mike Krzyzewski during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Winston-Salem State Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, in Durham, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Seward)
Chris Seward/Associated Press

Mike Krzyzewski's farewell tour begins at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.

The legendary Duke Blue Devils coach is retiring at the end of the 2021-22 season.

The Champions Classic matchup with the Kentucky Wildcats is one of three games that Duke has scheduled against ranked opponents in nonconference play.

While Krzyzewski's illustrious career is the story going into Tuesday, Kentucky may be the team that creates the most headlines.

John Calipari put together an exciting roster full of 5-star freshmen and established transfers that should put Kentucky back near the top of the men's game.

               

Duke vs. Kentucky Info

Date: Tuesday, November 9

Start Time: 9:30 p.m. ET 

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TV: ESPN 

Live Stream: ESPN.com and ESPN app

          

Odds

Spread: Duke (-1)

Moneyline: Duke -120 (bet $120 to win $100); Kentucky +100 (bet $100 to win $100)

Via DraftKings Sportsbook.

            

Preview

Krzyzewski will face a challenge he has not encountered much in his Duke tenure this year.

The Blue Devils are working to get back to the NCAA men's basketball tournament after they missed out on the Big Dance last season. They finished with a 13-11 overall mark and a 9-9 ACC record.

Krzyzewski replenished the roster with a handful of 5-star recruits in response, with Paolo Banchero being the most notable star of the group.

Banchero, Trevor Keels and Jaylen Blakes will combine with returnees Mark Williams, Jeremy Roach, Wendell Moore and Joey Baker to fill out the rotation. The Blue Devils also added Marquette big man Theo John in the transfer portal.

The new crop of Duke players will attempt to make as big of a statement as the 2018 team did when it last faced Kentucky in the Champions Classic.

In 2018, RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish all scored more than 20 points in a 118-84 victory over Kentucky.

Seven of the 10 players to start in that game have gone on to establish themselves in the NBA. Tre Jones, who is on the San Antonio Spurs roster now, was the point guard on that Duke team. Keldon Johnson, P.J. Washington and Tyler Herro were among those who started for Kentucky.

The players in Tuesday's game do not enter with the same hype as the stars of 2018, but they have a chance to establish their legends at both schools right away.

For Kentucky, a handful of transfers could make their marks immediately. Calipari brought in CJ Frederick from Iowa, Sahvir Wheeler from Georgia and Oscar Tshiebwe from West Virginia. Kellan Grady also joined the program from Davidson as a grad transfer.

Additionally, the Wildcats brought in 5-star freshmen TyTy Washington and Daimion Collins to give Calipari plenty of roster depth to work with.

The collection of high-profile transfers should not feel the same growing pains as a roster loaded with stud freshmen players.

Kentucky's experience at guard through Wheeler, Grady, Frederick and the returning Davion Mintz could be the difference-maker Tuesday night.

Duke does not have an abundance of high-volume scorers on its roster. Banchero is the best one of them all, but he will be playing in his first collegiate game. The Blue Devils will keep the contest close, but expect Kentucky to make a statement that its combination of youth and experience will not let another nine-win season happen in Lexington.

                  

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