Down Goes K-State: No. 4 Wildcats Fall To No. 1 Duke, 82-68

The Kansas State Wildcats couldn't come back to beat Duke on Tuesday losing 82-68.

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Duke Blue Devils Fans Knew They Would Beat Kansas State

The Kansas State Wildcats fell to the Duke Blue Devils on Tuesday night at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. Duke fans aren't surprised by the victory but the rest of the world is as they were just a 5.5 point favorite so not many people saw an 82-68 game coming. Via Duke Basketball Report:

We could have told them.  We could have told Jacob Pullen when he more or less said that transition was everything and they didn’t even want to have to get into a half-court offense.  We could have told columnist Bob Lutz, who said Duke had to be ready for what they were going to face.  Kansas State is a talented team but like a lot of teams they play like a boxer aiming for a first-round knockout.  When it doesn’t happen, what’s next?  You have to have something besides a haymaker. Talented though they are, Kansas State didn’t have that.

That's pretty accurate. Jacob Pullen said on Monday night that they wanted to be in transition offensively and didn't want to set up their offense. That was clearly the case but Duke protected against that in an excellent defensive performance making K-State avoid the fast tempo on offense that they wanted.

SB Nation's Andrew Sharp is wondering...just how good are the Duke Blue Devils?

They've got the best backcourt in the country, the best small forward, the best freshman guard, one of the best coaches, the best homecourt advantage, and last night, they looked A LOT better than the fourth-best team in the country. Looking up and down their roster, you get the sense this could be one of the best teams we've seen in years. Could Duke go undefeated and win a second-straight national title?


Duke Blue Devils Vs. Kansas State Wildcats: Now I Know Kyrie Irving

The No. 4 Kansas State Wildcats couldn't hold on against the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils on Tuesday night at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. in an 82-68 loss. I'll admit I don't watch a ton of college basketball outside of the Kansas City area teams so I was only vaguely familiar with Duke freshman Kyrie Irving.

As I looked into Duke a little more, I realized just how consistent this guy has been, which is impressive for anyone and especially a freshman.

Irving has scored 17, 13, 13, 11 and 17 points this season with the last one coming in Tuesday's game against Kansas State. Irving shot 5-of-12 from the field including a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line. He finished tied for the team-high in points scored.

This year's Duke team isn't as experienced as other years so I thought the pro-Kansas State crowd would cause some of the young guys, including Irving, some trouble. That was not the case. Duke controlled the game fro the start never allowing the crowd to become a factor.

Irving was an unexpected problem for Kansas State on Tuesday night.


No. 1 Duke Blue Devils Control No. 4 Kansas State Wildcats, Jacob Pullen In 14-Point Victory

The No. 1 ranked Duke Blue Devils showed they're for real on Tuesday night by beating the No. 4 ranked Kansas State Wildcats in the CBE Classic finale. The highly anticipated matchup didn't go down as planned as Duke built a halftime lead that they never gave up and walked away the Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City, Mo. with an 82-68 victory.

The Wildcats will have plenty to forget about tomorrow morning but no question mark is bigger than Jacob Pullen. KSU's preseason All-American disappeared against Duke just four points on a miserable 1-of-12 shooting. He had gone 41 consecutive games scoring in double digits before this game.

Kansas State's bench was the star of this game, if there is one for the Wildcats. They had three players in double digits -- three more than the starters had. Curtis Kelly was the real story of the night as he put up 19 points on a very efficient 8-of-11 shooting.

Duke played too soundly all night for Kansas State to have much of a chance. The Wildcats were never able to go on any sort of run and they couldn't get their fast-paced offense rolling. Credit Duke's defense for making life frustrating for Kansas State on the offensive side of the ball. Duke freshman Kyrie Irving tied Nolan Smith for the Blue Devils' team high in scoring with 17. He was also 7-of-7 from the free throw line.

Kansas State just couldn't get much of anything going against Duke and it didn't help that their best player was non-existent.


Duke Blue Devils Pulling Away From Kansas State Wildcats In Second Half

The Kansas State Wildcats were trailing the Duke Blue Devils 54-47 on Tuesday night before scoring a bucket to make it 56-47. Kansas State flubbed the in bounds pass and Duke's Nolan Smith got the ball, made the basket and got the foul. It's been like that for Kansas State all night. Once they start to get back into it, Duke goes on a mini-run.

Frank Martin is not pleased, to say the least.

Neither team is pulling away yet the Blue Devils have held a comfortable 7-10 point lead for much of the game to this point. With about 13 minutes remaining in the game, Duke leads, 58-47.

There are a few story lines starting to develop for K-State.

Where is Jacob Pullen? He is shooting just 1-of-7 with three points. It hasn't been a fun night for him and Kansas State needs him to step it up in the second half.

No transition game for KSU. The Wildcats offense is really based off of being in transition but Duke has denied that most of the game with solid defense. After the Gonzaga win on Monday night, Pullen said they'd rather not have to set up an offense if they don't have to. We're now seeing why.

Curtis Kelly's return. His return was really Monday night against Gonzaga but he's having a heck of a game so far tonight with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting. He's Kansas State's leading scorer.


Duke Blue Devils Vs. Kansas State Wildcats: Jacob Pullen Struggles As KSU Trails At Halftime

The Kansas State Wildcats can't quite keep up with the Duke Blue Devils on Tuesday night at Kansas City's Sprint Center. Duke leads K-State 47-39 at halftime of a game Duke has controlled for the most part.

Kansas State's preseason All-American, guard Jacob Pullen, is struggling in this one. ESPN's Dick Vitale has repeatedly pointed out Pullen's body language saying he looks sluggish and that he needs to get himself going emotionally. Pullen is just 1-of-5 for three points.

Duke freshman Kyrie Irving leads all scorers with 12 including 6-of-6 at the free throw line. Guard Nolan Smith has added 11 points.

Here are a few of the keys we talked about before the game:

The bench. Kansas State is getting a lot from their bench as their top three reserves have combined for 24 points. The problem? They have just 11 points from their starters.

Free throws. We said before the game that this would be one of the biggest keys to the game. Duke is very good at the line and they're demonstrating that tonight hitting 14-of-18 free throws. Kansas State has struggled this year and they've connected on just 5-of-11 free throws.

Three-pointers. K-State shot very well from beyond the arc on Monday night against Gonzaga but they're coming back to earth connecting on 3-of-11 three-point attempts. Duke has also hit three but on just six attempts.

Duke leads Kansas State at halftime, 47-39.


Duke Blue Devils Leading Kansas State Wildcats Early In CBE Classic Finale

The Duke Blue Devils and Kansas State Wildcats started off slow in Kansas City's Sprint Center for CBE Classic finale but the high tempo each team is known for is starting to come alive.At the 13:00 minute mark, Duke leads KSU 12-11. There have already been seven lead changes.

Curtis Kelly scored K-State's first six points and the bench has all 11 points at this point. That's one of K-State's biggest strengths and it's showing early in Kansas City.

Duke's Mason Plumlee and Nolan Smith have combined for 10 points while Kyle Singler is 1-of-3. Duke's defense is playing well early.

Through the first seven minutes, Duke leads K-State 12-11.


Duke Blue Devils Vs. Kansas State Wildcats: Matchup Of Two Preseason All-Americans

When the Duke Blue Devils come to Kansas City to face the Kansas State Wildcats on Tuesday night at the Sprint Center, they'll be bringing an All-American in Kyle Singler. He's had a couple of solid outings in a row so handling him will be one of the keys for Kansas State.

Meanwhile the Wildcats bring their own All-American in Jacob Pullen. He's averaging 16 points and four assists per game this year and clearly one of the biggest reasons for K-State's success.

They won't be guarding each other head to head but it'll be interesting to see which one of the team's stars steps it up. They both have solid supporting casts, which obviously helps them, but each also have elite skills at this point.

I can see Pullen heating up and really driving the Wildcats, especially if the Kansas City crowd gets into it. K-State feeds off of fast and intense play so the crowd could help make things difficult for Duke.


Duke Blue Devils Vs. Kansas State Wildcats: Vegas Says 5.5 Point Edge To Duke

The Kansas State Wildcats enter Tuesday's game against the Duke Blue Devils as a 5.5 point underdog (depending where you look). K-State is coming off of an impressive victory over Gonzaga on Monday night and they went deep on the bench so it's hard to see how this game gets out of hand. Kansas State is just a very solid team overall.

Duke is in familiar territory as the favorite coming off of a five-point victory over Marquette on Monday night. Duke hasn't used the bench quite like Kansas State has so it'll be interesting to see if that affects them.

If there were an x-factor in this game, it'd go to Kansas State. They're playing at the Sprint Center in Kansas City where the crowd will be pro-Kansas State. Duke always travels well but not like K-State at the Sprint Center tongiht.

5.5 points seems slightly high because I can see this game coming down to the last minute. Both like to run the court and both are solid on defense so it should be close.


Duke Blue Devils Vs. Kansas State Wildcats: Three Keys To The Game

The Kansas State Wildcats, ranked No. 4 in the country, will play the nation's top-ranked team in the Duke Blue Devils. Kansas State played their most complete game of the year on Monday night against Gonzaga and they're looking for a similar performance against Duke in the final of the CBE Classic on Tuesday night at 9:15 p.m. on ESPN2.

Kansas State's biggest advantage is how deep their team is and how aggressive they are. Both teams like to run the floor while they both want to make their opponent run their half-court offense. This should be a helluva a game for those that like to see teams do the little things right.

Here are three keys to the game between Kansas State and Duke.

Shooting the three. Kansas State came out firing on Monday night against Gonzaga finishing 12-of-26 at the three point line. If they shoot like that, then this is a rough game for Duke. The stats show, though, that they're more of a 36 percent three point shooting team -- not 46 percent. Duke has the edge here based on their consistency but K-State clearly has the ability to step it up.

The free points. Duke is a very good free-throw shooting team looking at a 75 percent clip as a team. Kansas State? 50 percent. KSU also commits a lot of fouls so Duke will get their chances at the free throw line. Kansas State can't afford to give up the free points.

Crowd noise. This will be a Kansas State-heavy crowd since the game is in Kansas City. Don't get me wrong -- Duke travels well -- but this is K-State's night. Not all of Duke's key players have a ton of experience right now which means crowd noise could become a factor. This should be a very raucous crowd.


Frank Martin On K-State Vs. Duke: 'It's Not Like We're Mount St. Mary's'

The Kansas State Wildcats are preparing to face the No. 1 team in the country when the Duke Blue Devils walk onto the Sprint Center floor in Kansas City, Mo. this evening for the finale of the CBE Classic. The game tips off at 9: 15 p.m. Tuesday evening but we're already wondering how Kansas State will come out in this game.

The Wildcats are No. 4 so they're no slouches but they're playing Duke. Duke. No. 1 team in the country.

"I’m not going to try to prepare them by saying, ‘Hey, we’re playing Duke,’" Martin said. "We play in the Big 12. We played Kansas (in 2008) when they were No. 2 in the country with seven pros on their team and beat them. We played Texas last year when they were ranked No. 1 and beat them.

"It’s not like we’re Mount St. Mary’s. We’ve played these kinds of games before."

Kansas is the one team I'd pick to compare to Duke over the last few years so Martin is right that they've played this before. But it wasn't quite like this. Kansas State wasn't No. 4 in the country when they played that Kansas team in '2008. This is a little different. Plus, with Duke, you get more of a national appeal than someone like Texas.

This game is pretty big. It's still early in the season but it's a great time for Kansas State to figure out where they belong.

(H/T Yahoo! Sports)


No. 1 Duke Blue Devils Vs. No. 4 Kansas State Wildcats: CBE Classic Dream Finale On Tuesday

The Kansas State Wildcats will play the Duke Blue Devils on Tuesday night at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. as part of the CBE Classic. This is the game everyone wanted to see and they'll get it on Tuesday night. Mike Krzyzewski and the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils will take on Frank Martin and the No. 4 Kansas State Wildcats in what is easily the best game of this young 2010 college basketball season.

The Wildcats are coming off of an impressive 17-point victory over Gonzaga at the Sprint Center on Monday night. Kansas State looked like a complete team and after the game people had to be asking themselves: Are we sure Duke is the best team in the country? K-State looked that good and that deep.

Duke meanwhile struggled against Marquette failing to ever really put them away in an 82-77 victory.

Nevertheless, it's No. 1 vs. No. 4 in the finale everyone involved with the CBE Classic wanted to see. Tip-off is at 9:15 p.m. (central) on Tuesday evening and will air on ESPN2.

For Duke, this is another game as top-ranked opponent. Kansas State isn't used to this. This is not just another game with the nation watching. I expect the Wildcats to show up really fired up. They showed Monday night against No. 22 Gonzaga that they can play like they're the best team in the country.

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