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2nd-Ranked Kentucky Crushed By 4th-Ranked Duke In Season Opener

07 November 2018

After 40 minutes of basketball, however, there wasn't much in the way of competition, as Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, Cameron Reddish and the Blue Devils absolutely throttled the Wildcats in front of a national audience.

Duke won for the eighth time in the last 10 meetings between two of the nation's four winningest programs, and this time handed coach John Calipari his first opening-night loss at Kentucky and his most lopsided loss since taking the job a decade ago. The X-factor player here could be forward Reid Travis (19.5 ppg, 8.7 rpg), a graduate transfer from Stanford.

Duke led 34-13 with 10:37 left in the first half. Barrett's dunk with 16:11 remaining made it 72-47, Alex O'Connell's 3-pointer with 11:45 remaining made it 91-54 and Duke topped the 100-point mark on another dunk by Barrett with 7:36 left.

The Blue Devils didn't stop with that flurry.

Barrett finished with 33 points, four rebounds and six assists in the game. Kentucky shaved the deficit to 12 on one occasion and 13 on another but could get no closer. That's the Kentucky Wildcats. Most teams don't have that kind of combination, but it's clear Kentucky needs to improve dramatically to keep up with the nation's top teams.

The Blue Devils, however, may have issues with their depth going forward as they received very little from their non-freshmen and from their reserves until garbage time.

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Duke was able to limit turnovers, as the Blue Devils had a significant turnover margin.

Check out some more highlights from Duke's decisive victory over the Kentucky Wildcats in the tweets embedded below. They shot 53.8 percent from the field, knocked down 12 3-pointers and ran away from Kentucky in the first half. Freshman wing Tyler Herro added 14 points, nine rebounds and five assists. They combined for 83 points on the night, nearly outscoring the Wildcats' entire roster.

Devon Dotson #11 of the Kansas Jayhawks celebrates with Quentin Grimes #5 against the Michigan State Spartans during the State Farm Champions Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on November 6, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

For the Blue Devils, Jack White was there to keep them together.

Kentucky looks to rebound when it returns to Rupp Arena against Southern Illinois on Friday.

The fifth starter for Duke, junior big man Marques Bolden, did exactly what head coach Mike Krzyzewski has been asking him to do since he arrived in Durham: he snatched loose balls in the paint with authority.

2nd-Ranked Kentucky Crushed By 4th-Ranked Duke In Season Opener