College basketball tip-off marathon: No. 3 Kentucky vs. No. 9 Duke live blog

9:35 - Two top ten teams who don't like each other and who just might be the two most prominent names in the sport squaring off inside the home of this season's Final Four? Not bad for Nov. 13.

UK point guard Ryan Harrow is still dealing with an illness and will not play, which is a shame. But even with Harrow, Duke would have the superior combination of experience and talent at this point in the season.

This is going to be fun, but I'd love to see it again in about four months.

Prediction: Duke by 7

9:44 - Second straight game where Nerlens Noel has come out and forced the issue on UK's first offensive possession. Needs to let the game come to him. Creating his own shot should not be his M.O.

9:52 - ESPN did not have the correct picture of Ryan Harrow.

9:57 - Kentucky off to an impressive start for the second straight game. Alex Poythress playing very aggressive and helping the Cats build a 13-7 lead.

10:06 - Seth Curry's outside shooting is allowing Duke to hang around here. He's got nine points on three triples and it's 21-19, Kentucky.

10:19 - The Dukies now have it rolling and Mason Plumlee has been the catalyst. UK struggling with defending the post just as much as they did against Maryland. That's a big issue, especially considering frontcourt play was supposed to be their strength.

10:22 - Plumlee now has 14 points despite playing a long stretch with two fouls. It's the Blue Devils up 29-23.

10:30 - A solid answer from Kentucky, which reels off six straight to tie the game at 29.

10:31 - Alex Poythress with a monster putback dunk to cut the Duke lead to two at 33-31. The play of Poythress has been the ost positive development for UK so far tonight. Calipari has to have him gain confidence and assume Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's role from last season.

10:33 - Neither team shot especially well down the stretch, but still a very entertaining half of basketball. Dukies lea at the break, 33-31.

10:34 - John Calipari says Duke players are flopping all over the court. "If this was the NBA, they'd all be suspended."

10:46 - There's a bed montage going on in my head with a Celine Dionne song (any Celine Dionne song) serving as the background music.

10:53 - Nerlens Noel finding his stroke at the stripe is another positive development for John Calipari. We're tied at 37.

10:56 - Weezy courtside:

A7oguyfcmaaco2p_medium

Via Matt Jones.

10:58 - Back-to-back treys push Duke ahead by six and force Calipari to use a timeout. If Rasheed Sulaimon and Quinn Cook are hitting from the outside, Duke's awfully tough to handle defensively.

11:01 - Mason Plumlee picks up his fourth foul way away from the ball with 16 minutes to play. Huge development.

11:08 - Poythress catches a forearm from Josh Hairston, but officials say it was unintentional. Things getting a little tense here. Duke leads 45-39 with 14 minutes left.

11:11: Lots of emotion here:


11:13 - They say Seth Curry's mom's lost a step or two over the years...but I wouldn't be surprised to see some fireworks here.

11:14 - Kentucky letting this one get away a little bit, as Duke races out to a 54-42 lead.

11:22 - Nerlens Noel may not have the skill set of Anthony Davis, but he certainly plays just as hard. His hustle play results in a UK dunk and some new life. Duke still up ten, 58-48 with 8:30 left.

11:26 - Kentucky getting basket after basket, but just cannot stop Duke on he other end. Alex Poythress with another huge follow dunk. Kid has an NBA-ready body.

11:31 - And here come the Cats. Julius Mays hits two free-throws and a trey to cut the lead to five. Momentum is all Kentucky right now. Duke needs to look to Plumlee for an answer.

11:36 - Duke was supposed to have the advantage in this game because of experience, but they are not handling the moment very well. Blue Devils on top by just three at the under four timeout.

11:39 - Alex Poythress is an absolute specimen. His insane rebound and follow keeps it a one possession game. Curry responds on the other end with a big basket. Appears he's going to be Duke's No. 1 options in these situations this season. I'd say that's the right choice.

11:47 - No more whistles...I'm so close.

11:50 - Iiiiit's a final. Duke 75, Kentucky 68. That's right. Drilled the final prediction.

Blue Devils have a legitimate No. 1 scoring option, while Kentucky has a blossoming star in Alex Poythress. Both teams have reasons to be optimistic about the months ahead, but Duke's experience has them a couple of steps ahead right now.

I just misspelled every other word in those last two sentences. Don't care. I'm done.

The-confetti-toss_medium

Believe I'll get some sleep.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.