What we learned from Duke’s big win over Kentucky

Coach K isn't happy with a play

Duke was led by its sensational freshman trio of R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish and Zion Williamson.

It marked Kentucky's worst loss since a 76-41 setback to LSU on January 18, 1987, and the most lopsided in John Calipari's 27 years as a college head coach. Graduate transfer Reid Travis added 22 for the Wildcats, who had won all nine previous season openers under Calipari.

12-10 - Kentucky's lead in the all-time series with Duke. Kentucky shaved the deficit to 12 on one occasion and 13 on another but could get no closer.

The Blue Devils, however, may have issues with their depth going forward as they received very little from their non-freshmen and from their reserves until garbage time.

After making it 59-42 at halftime, Duke kept pulling away throughout the second half.

Barrett was 13 of 26 from the field while Williamson was 11 of 13 with seven rebounds.

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Williamson, Barrett and Reddish combined for 45 points in the first half, outscoring Kentucky's entire squad by three, and it was a 20-minute window filled with highlight plays. Most teams don't have that kind of combination, but it's clear Kentucky needs to improve dramatically to keep up with the nation's top teams.

Duke was able to limit turnovers, as the Blue Devils had a significant turnover margin.

The No. 3 Duke Blue Devils made a strong case to jump Kansas in the ranking and become the No. 1 team in the nation after dismantling No. 2 Kentucky on a neutral floor in Indianapolis on opening night.

Kentucky: Tyler Herro was the only other player to reach double figures. The 6-foot-8 forward ended the night with a career-high nine points and showed up as a deep threat in addition to a finisher at the rim. They combined for 83 points on the night, nearly outscoring the Wildcats' entire roster.

The Blue Devils' fabulous freshmen collectively laughed as if that mattered on Tuesday night. The game marked the first time Kentucky faced a ranked opponent in a season opener since a 79-71 overtime loss to Clemson in 1995. The Blue Devils outscored United Kingdom by 24 from the arc.

The fifth starter for Duke, junior big man Marques Bolden, did exactly what head coach Mike Krzyzewski has been asking him to do since he arrived in Durham: he snatched loose balls in the paint with authority.

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