Duke Hands Kentucky’s John Calipari Worst Loss Of His Coaching Career

Duke Hands Kentucky’s John Calipari Worst Loss Of His Coaching Career

"He said all you guys hit the genetic lottery but Zion hit it twice".

"To be able to execute what we think is important", Self answered.

"Duke played with a chip", Calipari said Thursday.

The young Duke team played surprisingly well together as a unit, showing outstanding chemistry for a team featuring so many prominent freshmen. All of us? Me included? They always seem to play well against us.

Everybody is boosting and salivating over Dukes' Big Three of Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish, R.J. Barrett, but they aren't the only freshman phenoms to bless Tobacco Road this season. They combined for 83 points on the night, nearly outscoring the Wildcats' entire roster.

And in just 23 minutes, Zion Williamson - who had to sit out much of the first half after picking up two quick fouls - finished with 28 points on a shooting performance that was almost ideal.

After Nevada's offense sputtered in the first half, it accelerated in the second, especially in the game's final 10 minutes. "I know where Quaid (Matt McQuaid) wants it, I know where Josh (Langford) wants it, I know where Nick wants it". Freshman guard Tre Jones finished with seven assists and zero turnovers.

"Really proud of my guys", Krzyzewski said. A lot of it was over-trying too, but yeah, they were both gamers tonight.

The Blue Devils' fabulous freshmen collectively laughed as if that mattered on Tuesday night.

Kentucky only got as close as 27 until the waning moments. This will be a close game at the half with Kansas pulling away late. Williamson scored 28 points on 11 of 13 shooting, added seven rebounds and produced his own highlight reel, which ESPN was kind enough to compile for the sporting public. The Blue Devils outscored United Kingdom by 24 from the arc.


The Blue Devils found themselves in deep foul trouble as six players, including Reddish, Williamson and Bolden, picked up two fouls each in the first half.

Keldon Johnson scored 23 points to lead Kentucky. Freshman wing Tyler Herro added 14 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

It's hard to put a good spin on this one from the Cats' perspective. Some will take on Duke during the regular season this year, while others might have to wait until March to test the theory.

"C-A-T-S, Cats, Cats, Cats", exclaimed the crowd midway through the second half.

One thing is certain: Self will be glad the focus on the Jayhawks is back on the court.

The Duke Blue Devils were the talk of the basketball world on Tuesday evening, as Mike Krzyzewski's bunch utterly destroyed a highly-touted Kentucky team in front of a national audience.

This is the first season in a long time that Calipari won't have to babysit and coach with a pacifier. But the lone senior on the roster will be counted on plenty in Lagerald Vick, who averaged 12.1 plus 4.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists previous year.

12-10 - Kentucky's lead in the all-time series with Duke.

38-37 - Duke rebounding advantage, including a game-high 11 by reserve forward Jack White.

In some cases, a team doesn't decide that it should purposely lose games until near the end of the season, in part because the NBA Draft Lottery gives teams with a worse win-loss record a higher chance of attaining the first overall pick.

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