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On to Duke

Finally.

Keldon Johnson Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

Panic time has arrived as the Kentucky Wildcats have wrapped up their exhibition season with a 2-0 record heading into their regular-season opener with the Duke Blue Devils in Indianapolis.

That’s what some will think, anyway, as the tape has yet to mirror the hype surrounding the Wildcats. Flashes has been shown and the depth is obvious. However, head coach John Calipari’s team has struggled with both Transylvania and the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

While the Wildcats are just fine, and you should certainly stop panicking, their matchup in the Champions Classic with the Blue Devils will be under a microscope like none other. Two of the sports’ best coaches will clash as the nation’s top-two recruiting classes, along with a handful of veterans on the Wildcats’ side, take the hardwood in a game that will surely have a “March” atmosphere.

The country’s top-three freshman, which all play relatively the same position, will lead the Blue Devils as Calipari’s Wildcats feature a more team-oriented approach. Specifically, Kentucky can boast multiple lineups of all sizes, skills and speeds. From running three guards to slowing the tempo with three “bigs,” Calipari has a complete arsenal at his disposal.

Much like the preseason, however, don’t expect Tuesday night’s opener to be the most efficient 40 minutes of basketball both teams play this season. Both teams have had a rather short time to not only build chemistry but also put together a complete game of basketball against a legitimate opponent.

Though much will be made in regards to the outcome of the game, the result will hardly define either team’s season. In fact, it wouldn’t be irrational to find these two clubs meeting again this coming spring.

Though a spread has yet to be set, expect the matchup to be rather even. Kentucky’s experience, aided by talent, matches up well with Duke’s star power. Tuesday night, as all have anticipated, will be a game for the history books.