Last Updated 5:39 AM, November 10, 2021

2021 Champions Classic: Duke, Kansas pick up wins in Madison Square Garden

What to make of Duke after the 2021 Champions Classic
4:49 am, November 10, 2021

No. 3 Kansas, No. 9 Duke win at Champions Classic

In the first game of the 2021 Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden, No. 3 Kansas defeated Michigan State 87-74 behind Ochai Agbaji's career-high 28 points, including several electric alley-oops.

After the game, Agbaji told March Madness correspondent Andy Katz, "We're all at a high confidence right now." Watch the complete interview here.

Click or tap here to watch Katz's takeaways about what we learned about Kansas, and click here for his takeaways on Michigan State.

In the nightcap, No. 9 Duke pushed past No. 10 Kentucky, 79-71, as freshman guard Trevor Keels shined in his debut with a game-high 25 points, including the team's only 3-pointer. The Blue Devils finished 1-for-13 from behind the arc.

Fellow freshman Paolo Banchero was another standout, finishing with 22 points on 7-for-11 shooting and seven rebounds.

In their Kentucky debuts, West Virginia transfer Oscar Tshiebwe (17 points, 19 rebounds) and Georgia transfer Sahvir Wheeler (16 points, 10 assists) each posted a double-double in a losing effort.

Click or tap here to watch Katz's takeaways about what we learned about Duke, and click here for his takeaways on Kentucky.

2:49 am, November 10, 2021

Halftime: No. 9 Duke 39, No. 10 Kentucky 35

In a tightly contested and competitive first half between a pair of top-10 teams, No. 9 Duke leads No. 10 Kentucky 39-35 at halftime. Duke freshman sensation Paolo Banchero scored a team-high 12 points on 3-for-5 shooting, while Kentucky point guard Sahvir Wheeler has also scored 12 points.

Duke has shot 46.4 percent from the field compared to Kentucky's 32.5 field goal percentage. While the Blue Devils are just 1-for-9 from three, they've made 12 free throws.

2:40 am, November 10, 2021

No. 9 Duke versus No. 10 Kentucky is underway

The nightcap of the Champions Classic is underway between No. 9 Duke and No. 10 Kentucky. This is the first game of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski's final season.
2:00 am, November 10, 2021

Final: No. 3 Kansas 87, Michigan State 74

In the first half of the Champions Classic doubleheader, No. 3 Kansas defeated Michigan State 87-74.

Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji scored a career-high 28 points on 9-for-16 shooting, while Remy Martin (13 points) and David McCormack (10 points) also reached double figures. The Jayhawks led by seven points at halftime, then they added to their lead in the second half.

After the game, Agbaji told March Madness correspondent Andy Katz, "We're all at a high confidence right now." Watch the complete interview here.

Click or tap here to watch Katz's takeaways about what we learned about Kansas, and click here for his takeaways on Michigan State.

1:43 am, November 10, 2021

Braun finds Agbaji for (another) alley-oop

Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji pulled within one point of his career high in points scored as he finished off an alley-oop from Christian Braun for the second time on Tuesday night. Braun had grabbed a defensive rebound after Michigan State missed a shot and it was off to the races.

The dunk put the Jayhawks ahead 69-54.

1:19 am, November 10, 2021

Ochai Agbaji dunks twice in 20 seconds

Ochai Agbaji skied to the rim twice in the span of 17 seconds to put Kansas ahead 52-45, forcing Michigan State to call a timeout. First, he cut from the right corner for an alley-oop, assisted by teammate Christian Braun, then he stole a pass from Michigan State guard A.J. Hoggard, tore down the court and threw down a one-handed dunk.

1:07 am, November 10, 2021

Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year Remy Martin scores first points at Kansas

Kansas fifth-year senior guard Remy Martin, who transferred from Arizona State and who was named the preseason Big 12 Player of the Year, scored his first points in a Kansas uniform on a deep three to put the Jayhawks ahead 44-37.

Ten Kansas players played at least a full minute in the first half and he was the only one who didn't attempt a shot.

12:42 am, November 10, 2021

Halftime: No. 3 Kansas 39, Michigan State 32

Thanks to a turnover forced by Kansas' defense against Michigan State guard A.J. Hoggard, Kansas went on the offensive with Ochai Agbaji catching the ball in transition, dribbling behind his back and drawing a foul before halftime, which he converted into a pair of free throws to put the Jayhawks up by nine at halftime.

Kansas freshman K.J. Adams, who had subbed in less than 10 seconds prior to make his college deubt, then blocked Hoggard on the other end before the first-half clock expired.

Agbaji finished with a first-half high 12 points on 3-for-8 shooting, while Hoggard has scored a team-high eight points.

Kansas is shooting 44.8 percent from the field to Michigan State's 43.8 percent.

12:23 am, November 10, 2021

Michigan State leads at the under-12 timeout

In a back-and-forth first half, Michigan State leads No. 3 Kansas 17-16 at the under-12 timeout. Spartan reserves A.J. Hoggard and Julius Marble have each scored four points off the bench, while Kansas' leading returning scorer Ochai Agbaji has six early points.

12:00 am, November 10, 2021

No. 3 Kansas vs. Michigan State is underway

The first half of Tuesday night's Champions Classic doubleheader is underway as No. 3 Kansas and Michigan State square off inside Madison Square Garden. Click or tap here to view the box score.

The Jayhawks were selected as the  preseason favorite in the Big 12 and the Spartans were picked to finish sixth in an unofficial Big Ten media poll.

6:52 pm, November 7, 2021

2021 Champions Classic: Date, times, TV schedule

The 2021-22 men's basketball season opens on Tuesday, Nov. 9 and one of the marquee non-conference events, the Champions Classic, is scheduled for opening night. The Champions Classic is an annual double-header between four of the premier programs in the sport: Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State — three of which are ranked in the preseason AP Top 25 poll, and the fourth, Michigan State, is first among "others receiving votes."

Here's everything you need to know about the TV schedule for the matchups.

Click or tap here for the full opening day men's basketball scoreboard for Tuesday, Nov. 9.

7:24 pm, November 7, 2021

No. 3 Kansas vs. Michigan State: Game preview

Kevin Jairaj | USA TODAY Sports Images Kansas defeated Michigan State the last time they met in the Champions Classic.

No. 3 Kansas opens the 2021-22 season as one of the favorites to win the national championship next April, as the Jayhawks have the Big 12 preseason player of the year in Arizona State transfer Remy Martin, a former first-team All-Pac-12 selection, plus they return their top three scorers — Ochai Agbaji, David McCormack and Jalen Wilson — from last season's team that finished second in the Big 12 and earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Michigan State was first among "others receiving votes" in the preseason AP poll. The Spartans' roster will look different this season as they enrolled talented shooting guard Max Christie and Northeastern transfer Tyson Walker, who averaged 18.8 points per game last season. They'll need to replace the production of Aaron Henry, Joshua Langford and Rocket Watts, but Michigan State returns a host of role players, headlined by Joey Hauser (9.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game) and Gabe Brown (7.2 points per game).

You can read more here about how Spartans coach Tom Izzo is handling the unusually modest expectations around his program entering 2021. 

In the 14 games Kansas and Michigan State have met, each team has won seven times, but the Spartans hold a 2-1 advantage over the Jayhawks in the Champions Classic. The last time the two schools met in the event, Kansas won  92-87 in 2018.

7:10 pm, November 7, 2021

No. 9 Duke vs. No. 10 Kentucky: Game preview

Matt Stone | Special to USA TODAY Sports Images Duke defeated Kentucky 118-84 at the Champions Classic in 2018.

The 2021 men's basketball season was an unusual one because both Duke and Kentucky missed the NCAA tournament, something that hadn't happened for the Blue Devils since 1995 and for the Wildcats since 2013. The 1976 NCAA tournament was the last one that didn't feature Duke or Kentucky.

As the preseason AP poll suggests, with Duke at No. 9 and Kentucky at No. 10, the Blue Devils and Wildcats are not  only expected to qualify for the 2022 NCAA tournament, but both could potentially prove to be national championship contenders if they capitalize upon their preseason expectations.

Duke enrolled one of the most talented freshman classes in the country, headlined by 6-9 power forward Paolo Banchero, who could prove to be the best freshman in the country and potentially a national player of the year candidate. He'll be joined by fellow elite freshmen AJ Griffin, a small forward, and shooting guard Trevor Keels.

Kentucky, meanwhile, overhauled its roster with transfers Oscar Tshiebwe (West Virginia), Kellan Grady (Davidson), Sahvir Wheeler (Georgia) and CJ Fredrick (Iowa), while also adding talented freshmen in TyTy Washington Jr. and Daimion Collins.

The Duke-Kentucky series has been a competitive one historically, with the Wildcats holding a 12-10 advantage. Duke holds a 2-1 edge over Kentucky in the Champions Classic, with the Blue Devils most recently defeating the Wildcats 118-84 on the opening night of the 2018-19 season, when Duke's freshman trio of R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish combined for 83 points — only one point less than Kentucky's total as a team.