It feels like it’s early for college basketball, but no matter, the season has begun in earnest after Tuesday night. And it did so with a bang, with a match up pitting #4 Duke against #2 Kentucky in Indianapolis in the State Farm Champions Classic. Many expected the Blue Devils team to be very good, and if this was any indication to go by, they might just be the Alabama equivalent to basketball. They utterly destroyed the Wildcats, winning 118-84 in the end. They scored 59 in each half! Remember, these are only 20 minute halves, not 24 like in the NBA. It’s incredible to see those kinds of numbers without overtime and having done so against another very highly ranked team like Kentucky. Freshmen RJ Barrett (33 points) and Zion Williamson (28 on 11 for 13 shooting) paced the Blue Devils as they handed Kentucky one of its worst-ever losses.
Another big game took place on Tuesday in the same Classic, and it saw #1 ranked Kansas defeat #10 Michigan State by a score of 92-87. Kansas came out of the gates quickly, taking a 50-36 lead into halftime. They looked like they might run away with it, but the Spartans battled back in the second half to outscore the Jayhawks 51-42. However, Kansas did hang on in the end, and they have began their season well as a result.
In College Football, the second rankings from the College Football Playoff Committee have come in. And the top four is a pretty expected batch once again. Alabama remains at #1 and Clemson is at #2. Notre Dame, by virtue of LSU’s loss, has now moved up to #3. The big debate was over who would get the fourth spot, and the question was answered… at least for now… with the Michigan Wolverines. The Wolverines have a similar record to that of Georgia, but they have edged it for now and will hope to hang on to that place for the next month and change.
In baseball news, it looks like Bryce Harper will not be returning to the Washington Nationals. This was the consensus of virtually everyone throughout the season, but according to GM Mike Rizzo, the 26 year old did turn down their advances toward the end of the season when made what he called an “aggressive” offer. This doesn’t mean that he won’t stick around with the Nats after he shops around some, but you have to think that the chances of him coming back are not very high at all.