Kansas takes on Kentucky in the Champions Classic

For the 7th consecutive year, No. 4 Kansas (1-0) will be participating in the Champions Classic, an early season event that also features Kentucky, Duke, and Michigan State.

The Jayhawks actually have the worst record among the four schools in this event, as they sit at 2-4. Both of their wins are against Duke, who, along with Michigan State, is 3-3 in the Champions Classic.

No. 7 Kentucky (2-0) are the leaders in the clubhouse at 4-2, and are 2-0 against the Jayhawks in the event, picking up victories in 2011 and 2014.

The feeling from Jayhawks fans will not be one of any fear however, as Kansas and Kentucky have met up in the regular season twice over the last two years, with the Jayhawks coming out on top both in Lawrence in 2015-16 and Lexington in 2016-17.

Kentucky head coach John Calipari and his squad have been victorious in their first two games of the year, but not exactly in convincing fashion and not without a few close calls.

They opened their season at home against Utah Valley, a team that finished a paltry 17-17 (6-8) in the WAC a year ago. That did not stop the Wolverines from going up 34-25 at halftime. However, Kentucky did eventually turn it on before pulling it out, 73-63 in Lexington.

In their most recent game on Sunday, Kentucky hosted the Vermont Catamounts, who finished 29-6 (16-0) in the America East conference while making the NCAA Tournament a year ago.

Vermont had a few chances to send the game into overtime at the end, but missed a few long distance jumpers and Kentucky escaped 73-69 at home.

In the early going, Kentucky is being led by highly touted freshman guard Hamidou Diallo. He is averaging 17 points per game through two matchups.

For Kansas, they dispatchced of Tennesee State by a final score of 92-56 in their season opener on Friday inside of Allen Fieldhouse.

Junior guard Lagerald Vick lead the Jayhawks in scoring with 23 points, senior guard Devonte’ Graham had a double double with 10 points and 12 assists, and freshman guard Marcus Garrett had a double double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Absent from the rotation on Friday was freshman forward Billy Preston, who was held out after missing curfew Thursday night. He will play against Kentucky according to head coach Bill Self.

Self has also indicated that sophomore guard Malik Newman could return to the starting lineup versus Kentucky, after scoring 12 points off the bench on Friday. Garrett started in his place against Tennesee State.

The two blue blood programs face off tonight at 8:30 PM CT.

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Featured image courtesy of KUHoops.com