CHICAGO — Kentucky and Kansas meet in the Champions Classic on November 14, 2017. Find the score, stats and live updates below:
Kentucky-Kansas score, live updates, stats
FINAL: No. 4 Kansas 65, No. 7 Kentucky 61
Down four with two minutes to go, Kevin Knox delivered one bucket out of the timeout but forced a tough shot for the tie with 20 seconds to go and missed. Down four, Kentucky got life from Sacha Killeya-Jones, who had a huge game and capped it with an out-of-nowhere offensive rebound and putback with 8 seconds left to give UK a chance. Alas, KU star Devonte’ Graham sank two clinching free throws on the other end. A lot to build on for a team starting five freshman, however. Full box score:
Kansas 61, Kentucky 57, 2:06 2H: Nick Richards, largely ineffective all night, came up with a huge offensive rebound and bucket for a 57-55 lead with 3:38 to go — but now the Jayhawks have rattled off six straight points, including a huge 3-pointer by Malik Newman.
Kansas 55, Kentucky 55, 4:32 2H: Down six, Green drove 3/4 court and finished a tough one at the rim to stabilize the Cats. Two Diallo free throws got Kentucky within a bucket and put UK in the bonus for the final 7:37 of the game. Killeya-Jones promptly drew an over-the-back foul with a good boxout — but missed the front of a one-and-one with a chance to tie it with 7:21 remaining. He’s 0 for 3 at the line. Quick redemption for SKJ on a long, swished tying jumper.
That ignited a sequence of traded buckets and it was all square with 5:30 to go after two straight from Knox, who is up to 18 points and 8 rebounds. Fun finish coming.
Kansas 51, Kentucky 45, 9:11 2H: Back-to-back turnovers by Richards lead to big dunks on the other end for the Jayhawks. The number of games the freshman 7-footer “can’t play in” is starting to add up. He has 0 points, 6 rebounds, 3 turnovers. The Kansas fans are cranked up here at the United Center and Kentucky is on the ropes a little bit again.
Kansas 45, Kentucky 43, 11:48 2H: Flurry of action (not all of it good basketball, strictly speaking), including a crazy and-one by Diallo and a monster, LeBron-style block by PJ Washington. Back and forth they go. Of note: Diallo, Richards and Gabriel all picked up their third fouls by the 14:07 mark. Latest box score:
Kentucky 40, Kansas 39, 15:36 2H: Knox two-hand cram for the early second-half lead. Diallo with a tough finish on a high lob, then rebounded his own miss and got fouled. Cats led 38-36 two minutes into the second half. Nick Richards picked up his third foul barely two minutes in, though, and he’s right back to the bench. Diallo followed quickly after with his third and has also taken a seat.
But how about Sacha Killeya-Jones?! The sophomore who couldn’t get on the floor last season is giving UK great minutes for the third straight game. He’s up to 4 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks in 13 minutes off the bench. His tip-in of a Knox miss gave the Cats their current lead. That’ll earn you more time, young man.
HALFTIME: No. 4 Kansas 34, No. 7 Kentucky 33
The Jayhawks clobbered the Cats on the boards (24-13) and scoring in the pain (18-10), yet we have a ball game in the Champions Classic nightcap. Down 11 after just six minutes, Kentucky roared back. A Kevin Knox floater tied it at 32 — he scored a dozen points and hit his first four shots in the first half — before a Wenyen Gabriel free throw briefly gave the Cats their first leaf of the game with 2:14 to go before intermission. Impressive response and much better defense by Kentucky.
Do you think Calipari would’ve taken Graham shooting 3 of 10 with just 1 assist and 4 turnovers before the game without hesitation? You bet your butt he would. Six steals for the Wildcats so far is a strong number after a shaky start. Knox and Gilgeous-Alexander have a pair apiece, while Killeya-Jones has 3 blocks. Here’s a full halftime box score:
Kansas 28, Kentucky 28, 6:12 1H: Well then. These young Cats have some fight in them. When Diallo broke free with a steal, KU’s Graham wanted no part of contesting his dunk attempt. Diallo dropped the hammer, Wenyen Gabriel swished a jumper a few seconds later … and we’re all tied here in Chicago. An 8-2 blitz by the Cats.
Kansas 28, Kentucky 23, 7:10 1H: Nick Richards picked up his second foul with 10:33 to go in the first half, meaning Tai Wynyard made his season debut for Kentucky — and immediately fouled on an and-one. And then immediately was called for an offensive foul trying to grab a UK miss. Two fouls in less than a minute, and he’s out. Danger zone, right? Or not. Killeya-Jones checked in and swished a baseline jumper, Gilgeous-Alexander stole a pass and Kevin Knox swished a three, then SKJ swatted a shot inside. Deficit back down to just three.
Before the game, I tweeted that Knox had hit every 3-pointer I saw him attempt in warm-ups. He has now sunk 3 of 3 from deep in this game, keeping the Cats in this thing (for now). Full box score so far:
Kansas 20, Kentucky 15, 11:17 1H: Back-to-back buckets for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander — a baseline jumper and driving layup — then a nice sideline save by SGA leading to a Quade Green layup have steadied the Cats a bit. They’re on an 8-2 run.
Kansas 18, Kentucky 7, 14:08 1H: Thought the Cats could get blown out tonight — and I think Calipari did too — which is very much a possibility after the first six minutes. Kentucky’s defense is awful so far and its offense isn’t much better. KU continues getting to the rack and finding open threes. Check out this ugly early box score:
Kansas 13, Kentucky 7, 15:34 1H: Kansas’ first two buckets were drives into the paint and its third was an open 3-pointer. John Calipari warned what would happen if Kentucky lets that happen all night against this team. The Jayhawks have continued driving at will (and added another 3-pointer). Bright side: a couple of nice plays early by Hamidou Diallo and a made 3-pointer from Kevin Knox, who was lighting it up in warm-ups.
Starting five: Kentucky will start Quade Green, Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Knox, PJ Washington and Nick Richards. Kansas, which announced before the game that 5-star freshman Billy Preston is still not going to make his college debut due to questions about the finances of a car he crashed this week, will give Malik Newman his first start. Newman is a former McDonald’s All-American UK recruited, but he went to Mississippi State for a season before transferring to KU.
Cats in the house. Almost time. pic.twitter.com/VFbS5ZIyY0
— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_SEC) November 15, 2017
New tip time: Cats-Jayhawks will tip off at 9:57 p.m. ET. Put on a pot of coffee and settle in for a fun one (or maybe a Kansas blowout, if my suspicions are right).
No. 1 Duke 88, No. 2 Michigan State 81: Grayson Allen went bonkers — 7 of 11 threes, 8 of 8 free throws, 37 points — and the Blue Devils, playing most of the game without star freshman Marvin Bagley III (eye injury in the first half), ran away from the Spartans in the final few minutes of the early game. Miles Bridges, Jaren Jackson and Nick Ward each scored 19 points for a really good MSU team. Both these squads are legit national title contenders.
Recruiting News: Cats land 4-star Herro, now have three top-40 guards
Kentucky-Kansas game time, details
Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
Date: Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Location: United Center (23,500), Chicago
Vegas line: Kansas by 4 1/2
What TV channel is Kentucky-Kansas on?
You can watch Kentucky vs. Kansas in the Champions Classic on ESPN, which is channel 206 on DirecTV, channel 140 on Dish and channel 217 on Spectrum.
How can I watch Kentucky-Kansas online?
Stream Kentucky vs. Kansas on ESPN3.com and the WatchESPN app.
How can I listen to Kentucky-Kansas on the radio?
Kentucky and Kansas will be broadcast on the UK Sports Network. That’s 630-AM on Lexington radio and can be streamed at iHeart Radio. You can also listen on XM and Sirius channel 84.
- The Wildcats lead the all-time series against the Jayhawks 22-8, including 8-1 at neutral sites, and beat Kansas in the 2012 NCAA championship game. UK has beaten KU in both Champions Classic meetings (2012 and 2015), but the Jayhawks won the last two showdowns — a home-and-home the last two seasons.
- Calipari is 251-53 at Kentucky and Self is 417-87 at Kansas. Both men are kings of their respective conferences, the SEC and Big 12. They frequently do battle for top recruits, including Andrew Wiggins (Kansas), Immanuel Quickley (Kentucky) and current 5-star targets Quentin Grimes and Zion Williamson.
- The Jayhawks had six players score in double figures in their opener against Tennessee State: senior point guard Devonte’ Graham (10 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds), junior guard Lagerald Vick (23 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists), senior guard Svi Mykhailiuk (15 points, 5 rebounds), freshman guard Marcus Garrett (10 points, 10 rebounds), sophomore guard Malik Newman (12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists) and sophomore center Udoka Azubuike (13 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks).
- Kentucky recruited “the big kid,” as Calipari called him Monday, watching him literally break a rim at a Nike EYBL stop in Lexington three summers ago. The Wildcats also wanted Newman, a McDonald’s All-American, but he chose Mississippi State and transferred to KU after one disappointing season.
- Calipari offered up a blueprint for Kansas to beat Kentucky: “How about this? We haven’t worked on the last four minutes of a close game [but still held on to beat Vermont on Sunday]. Are you kidding me? We don’t have a press attack. If [Kansas plays a] triangle-and-two, we’ve worked on our triangle-and-two offense … what? [The young Wildcats haven’t.] I’m giving it away: Go play a triangle-and-two.”