(The scene at the end of Duke-Kansas – Photo by Jason Schott)
Kansas beat Duke in a game that went down to the buzzer, and Kentucky blew out Michigan State at the State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.
KANSAS 77, DUKE 75
Duke led this one 34-29 at halftime, led by 11 from Amile Jefferson in the first half.
The second half belonged to Kansas, as they opened up a 10-point lead, 53-43, on a Frank Mason III free throw with 10:58 left.
Kansas maintained a solid lead, up eight, 70-62, on a Carlton Bragg, Jr. layup with 3:17 left.
That was when Duke began their comeback. A Grayson Allen layup with 1:02 left cut Kansas’ lead to 75-72. Chase Jeter then blocked Mason III on a jumper with 43 seconds left to keep it at three. Kansas recovered the ball, and Mason III missed a jumper with 35 seconds left.
Duke got the ball back with plenty of time, and Frank Jackson drained a three with 20 seconds left to tie it at 75 and send The Garden into a frenzy.
Frank Mason III got an opening, took a solid mid-range jumper, and drained it to give Kansasa 77-75 lead with six seconds left.
Duke had one last chance, and Matt Jones missed a three as time expired, sending the number-one ranked team in the country to their first defeat of the season.
KENTUCKY 69, MICHIGAN STATE 48
Kentucky dominated this one throughout, as they held a 34-16 lead at the half and were ahead by as many as 23 on an Isaiah Briscoe layup with 3:54 left.
Kentucky was led by Monk Malik, who had 23 points on 8-17 from the field, and was 7-11 from behind the arc. He also had six rebounds and an assist.
Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari said of Monk, “He had an unbelievable shootaround today. I’ve done this for thirty years. We had two other players on the team that had so-so shootarounds and, guess what? They had so-so games. And it was a great lesson because getting him and (guard) De’Aaron (Fox) to not be casual,,,these guys play casual, they practice casual and that’s what we’ve got to teach them. You can’t be. You’ve got to have another habit. They’ve got to create a habit of really getting after it. Malik Monk had one of the best shootarounds that any of my players have had in the past few years and I expected he would go in and go play well.”
Briscoe had 21 points on 8-18 shooting, with four rebounds and two assists.
Briscoe said of winning back home, “It feels good. and, like I said before, a lot of my fan base is from New York and this place has made me who I am. so, it feels good to get back out there in front of my fans and perform well.”
On the win, Briscoe said, “This is a big win for us. I think playing in The Garden was big for the freshmen and everybody who’s never had a chance to play in a game big like this. It’s tough to play at The Garden your third game of the season when you’re a freshman, but they performed well. We came out with the win.”
Monk said of Briscoe’s leadership, “He came in last year as a freshman with Tyler (Ulis) and he was a great leader and he’s taking the role of Tyler now and, us freshmen – he’s just teaching us what we have to do in practice, what we have to do in games. He’s been through a lot. He’s just helped guide us through.”
De’Aaron Fox had 12 points (3-10 FG, 0-2 on threes), six assists, and four rebounds.
Michigan State did not have a player score in double-figures, as they were led by Kenny Goins and Cassius Winston, who had nine points apiece.
Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo said of the game, “Well, I’m actually a little embarrassed. I felt like we competed defensively for the most part, but we didn’t do anything offensively. We looked like an AAU team; just went one-on-one, didn’t move the ball, got frustrated. I think some of it was that we were a little fatigued and I think John (Calipari) did a hell of a job. I do think that is one of his better defensive teams. They did a very good job.
“You have to give (Malik) Monk credit. He was three for, I think, 13 (on threes) going in and he hit some big threes early unguarded on the break, which they’re very, very good at and then just got going and goes 7-for-11. If you look at our game plan we wanted to somewhat contain (De’Aaron) Fox, I thought we did an okay job. Our problems were the turnovers and the offense. I don’t have any excuse on why our shooters weren’t ready to shoot, but we’re going to have to improve. I do think that we didn’t shoot it well today when we got here, maybe the legs are a little gone, but we’re going to have to improve on the turnovers and the shooting.”