Kansas Jayhawks vs. Duke Blue Devils Free NCAAB Pick, 11–5–2019
Kansas Jayhawks (0–0) vs. Duke Blue Devils (0–0)
Date: November 5, 2019
Game Time: 7:00 pm
NCAAB Odds: Duke -2
The State Fame Champions Classic will help tip off the 2019–20 college basketball season from Madison Square Garden as the #3 Kansas Jayhawks will take on the #4 Duke Blue Devils. With all the success Duke has enjoyed under coach Mike Krzyzewski, finding a way to beat Kansas has proven to be a difficult chore recently as the Jayhawks have won three straight games dating back to 2013. Over the last three meetings between head coaches Bill Self and Coach K, the Jayhawks have beaten Duke by a total of 17 points during this span. Oddsmakers have pegged the Blue Devils by -2 points over KU on Tuesday night.
For the first time since 2004, the Jayhawks did not win the Big 12 Tournament in 2018–19 and head coach Bill Self is looking for a bounce-back season. One reason for the Jayhawks decline in 2018 was the loss of C Udoka Azubuike (13.4 points, 6.8 rebounds) who was limited to nine games. The senior center will return this season and give a big boost to the Jayhawks lineup as well as PG Devon Dotson (12.3 points) and picking up Iowa graduate transfer Isaiah Moss who shot 35.8 percent beyond the arc last season. Kansas struggled from 3-point land last year so they are hoping that Moss will help alleviate their struggles from deep.
Coach K will once again replenish his starting lineup after losing three players to the Top 10 of the 2019 NBA Draft, including #1 overall pick, Zion Williamson. Tre Jones (9.4 points, 5.3 assists) was the only one of the four five-star recruits from last season’s recruiting class to delay his NBA dream and is expected to be the only non-freshman starter on this year’s team. Despite a wealth of young talent, the Blue Devils were ousted by Michigan State in the Elite 8, 68–67. Look for freshman Center Vernon Carey Jr. and sharpshooting Forward Matthew Hurt to make an impact on this young Blue Devils squad.
College basketball provides no shortage of exciting matchups and this is one of the top matchups featuring two Hall of Fame coaches. Kansas has played Duke well in recent years and I feel the wrong team is favored here. The Jayhawks have the benefit of returning their 7' center Azubuike, who missed the majority of last season. In addition, Isaiah Moss will add depth and experience on the court as a graduate transfer from Iowa. While both teams are dealing with turnover, I feel Kansas is in a better position to play well out of the gate and it may take Duke’s freshman class time to get up to speed. I like the Jayhawks +2 to win outright on Tuesday night in Madison Square Garden.