In the 50th AP top-10 matchup in Cameron Indoor Stadium history, No. 6 Duke welcomes No. 8 Michigan State in the 2020 State Farm Champions Classic on Tuesday night. The Blue Devils are riding a three-game winning streak in the Champions Classic and their 6-3 record in the annual event is the best among the four Blue Blood programs.
Duke and Michigan State are meeting for the fifth consecutive season with the Blue Devils winning three of those four contests, including an 88-81 win in the 2017 Champion Classic in Chicago. Duke is 33-16 in top-10 matchups at Cameron Indoor (29-11 in the Mike Krzyzewski era) and has won seven of the last nine. In the Coach K era, Duke is 235-152 versus ranked teams and is 221-123 when both teams are ranked. When both teams are ranked in the top 10 in the Coach K era, Duke is 87-61.
Duke’s 2020-21 roster features seven newcomers — six freshmen that comprised the nation’s No. 2 class and graduate transfer Patrick Tapé from Columbia University — the program’s first grad transfer.
Sophomore guard Matthew Hurt is Duke’s leading returning scorer, averaging 9.7 points and shooting 39.3 percent from 3-point land last year.
Behind 19 points and 19 rebounds from ACC Freshman of the Week Jalen Johnson and a 24-point, nine-board effort off the bench from classmate DJ Steward, the Blue Devils opened the season with an 81-71 win over Coppin State on Saturday at Cameron Indoor.
Freshman forward Jalen Johnson and sophomore forward Wendell Moore Jr. were both selected to the Preseason All-ACC team.
About Michigan State:
Michigan State used a 26-0 run over the last five-plus minutes of the first half and the opening five minutes of the second half and cruised to an 80-70 win over Notre Dame in a men’s basketball game at the Breslin Center Saturday night.
After averaging 10.0 points last season, junior forward Aaron Henry has averaged 10.0 over State’s first two games. Junior Joey Hauser, who sat out last season after transferring from Marquette, has opened his Spartan career with efforts of 15 points and nine boards against Eastern Michigan and 10-16 against Notre Dame.
The team lost its two leading scorers from last season — senior Cassius Winston (18.6) and junior Xavier Tillman (13.7) — to the draft.
Duke vs. Michigan State:
Tuesday’s game is the 17th meeting between Duke and Michigan State, with the Blue Devils leading 13-3.
In the Champions Classic, the series favors Duke 3-0.
The teams are meeting for the fifth straight season, with Duke winning three of the four previous clashes, including an 87-75 victory last season in East Lansing (ACC/Big Ten Challenge) and an 88-81 in Chicago in 2017 (Champions Classic).
Under Coach K, Duke is 13-2 versus the Spartans.
The last 10 games in the series have been decided by an average 8.4 points per game.
Duke in the Champions Classic:
As the Champions Classic enters its 10th year in 2020, the Blue Devils are looking to continue their success in the early-season marquee doubleheader that brings together Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State.
Duke’s 6-3 record is the best of the four, leading Kentucky (5-4), Kansas (4-5) and Michigan State (3-6).
The Blue Devils knocked off Kansas in last year’s Classic at Madison Square Garden, 68-66, behind a team-high 15 points from Tre Jones.
This year’s event was originally scheduled for the United Center in Chicago, but was postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s other game — Kansas vs. Kentucky — tips at 9:30 p.m.
Tuesday night on ESPN in Indianapolis, Ind.
Champions Classic Top-10 Matchups:
The Champions Classic will see its 13th AP top 10 matchup Tuesday night when No. 6 Duke battles No. 8 Michigan State.
The Blue Devils are 4-3 in the previous top-10 matchups, with Kansas 4-2, Kentucky 3-4 and Michigan State 1-3.
How to Watch
TV: ESPN (Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas)
Radio: Blue Devil Sports