The Kansas Jayhawks didn't start the season off with the win we were expecting. But thankfully, early season games are not quite as important in basketball as they are in football. The team gets another chance in the second game of the State Farm Champions Classic, tonight at about 8:30. Make sure you let us know how you think the game is going to go. But first, read on for the opinions of our writing staff.
Fizzle406: Fetch has made several comments on Twitter on how even with Duke being shorthanded on players, KU will get beat because of the travel. It will be interesting to see. I have to think that young guys in really good shape should be able to recover quickly. I like KU in this one but history has not been kind to the Jayhawks in the Champions Classic. Kansas 70, Duke 67
KU Grad 08: My initial instinct is that KU will lose because they literally lose every version of this type of game early in the non-con every season. Then again, Duke is missing some key guys. Still, the perimeter defense against IU was pretty lacking at times, and I don’t think that’ll get better when we just played an OT game and are now flying six time zones east. I think KU will score, but Duke is going to score too. A lot. Like more than we will. Duke 95, Kansas 84.
Winmore: Kansas will be plagued by the same issues that led to my prediction that the ‘Hawks would lose to the Hoosiers. Kansas’ front line is just not good enough, right now. I don’t think Bill Self’s squad will come out and lay and egg, but I think a rout in this game is not inconceivable. The Jayhawks will put in a good effort I think, but the roster and the offense will need to time gel, and a quick turnaround against two outstanding opponents makes it an 0-2 start for KU. Duke 87, Kansas 81
dnoll5: Maybe it was my malaise due to actual world events in the days leading up to the game that led me not to watch as carefully as I typically do, but I didn’t really think KU played poorly, I just think Indiana played really well. Duke obviously has the talent to play really well, but for some reason I think KU wins it. KU 79, Duke 78.
Jakebogen95: Well, I don’t even want to say anything because I never get these predictions right. I do think Kansas gets the win. More defense will be played against a lesser high octane offense than Indiana. I expect Frank Mason to continue his elite play on his way to becoming a Player of the Year finalist. Watch out for Josh Jackson who should be a little more comfortable now. The game KU played versus Indiana is going to have them ready for games like these. Duke is a great team and I fully expect Grayson Allen to be a handful, but at the end of the day, shorthanded or not, Kansas wins. Kansas 73, Duke 68
mikeville: Jetlag schmetlag. The Jayhawks have had three days in NYC to get adjusted. Jetlag is not an excuse. Meanwhile, this whole event has turned into a lose-lose for Kansas with Duke missing three high-profile players. After the Indiana loss, I think the Jayhawks will want to prove themselves on national TV, and what better way to do it than to knock off preseason #1? Kansas 82, Duke 77.
misterbrain: The story of the Champions Classic is already Duke vs Kentucky, even though those two teams aren't playing each other. I saw a KU game against Indiana where the Hoosiers were insanely hot from 3-point range, and Kansas still should have won the game. With Duke missing key guys, I'm seeing a Kansas victory. Bonus prediction: Michigan State shocks Kentucky in the early game. Kansas 88, Duke 79