Following a dramatic 72-69 victory over Maryland to begin the season, the UK Wildcats return to action tonight with a date against No. 9 Duke in the Georgia Dome as a part of the State Farm Champions Classic.
Kentucky was sparked by a career-best performance from Jarrod Polson in the win over the Terps. The junior had career highs in points (10), assists (3) and rebounds (2) in addition to sinking the game-clinching free throws. Sophomore Kyle Wiltjer led UK in scoring with 19 points, while freshman Archie Goodwin provided 16.
Tonight’s game begins at 9:30 p.m. and will be shown on ESPN.
The meeting with the Blue Devils will mark the first matchup since the 2001-02 season. UK leads the all-time series 11-8, but Duke has won six of the last seven matchups. UK is playing a neutral site contest for the second-straight game to open the season, something the Wildcats have not done since the 2002-03 season.
Duke owns a No. 9 national ranking to begin the 2012-13 season which included a 74-55 season-opening win over Georgia State. Senior Mason Plumlee led the Blue Devis with a double-double of 19 points and 14 rebounds in the victory.
The Blue Devils improved to 79-29 in season openers, including a 30-2 mark under Coach Mike Krzyzewski. Duke has not lost a season opener since 1999 (80-79 vs. Stanford), a streak of 13 consecutive season-opening victories.
Duke went 27-7 a season ago, but lost in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Devils are directed by the NCAA Division I’s all-time career leader in wins in Krzyzewski who has amassed 928 career wins, including 855 at the helm of Duke.