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No. 4 Kansas outlasts No. 7 Kentucky at Champions Classic, 65-61

It wasn’t always pretty, but the Jayhawks found a way to win in their first major test of the season.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Kansas Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

No. 4 Kansas took advantage of a seventh-ranked Kentucky team that turned the ball over 18 times and shot just 25.0 percent from three to post a 65-61 victory Tuesday night at the Champions Classic in Chicago.

Svi Mykhailiuk led four KU players in double figures with 17 points. Big man Udoka Azubuike chipped in 13 points and eight rebounds, while guard Malik Newman helped out with 12 points and eight rebounds of his own.

Kansas won despite shooting just 35.3 percent from the field and misfiring on 20 of its 28 shots from beyond the arc.

Despite both teams being ranked in the top 10, Tuesday night’s matchup was a classic battle between youth and experience. Kansas started a pair of seniors, one junior and two sophomores. Kentucky, which is the youngest team in all of college basketball according to Ken Pomeroy, countered with five freshman starters.

One of those Kentucky newcomers, Kevin Knox, led all scorers with 20 points. He also snagged seven rebounds. Hamidou Diallo was the only other Wildcat in double figures, scoring 14 points to go with five rebounds and four assists.

This was the fourth straight year that Kansas and Kentucky have played during the regular season. The Jayhawks have gotten the better of the Wildcats in each of the last three meetings. The last time the two teams met in the Champions Classic, UK embarrassed Kansas with a 72-40 thumping in 2014. That margin of victory is still the largest in the event’s history.

With Tuesday night’s games in the books, here’s how the all-time Champions Classic standings look after seven years of existence:

Duke 4-3
Kentucky 4-3
Michigan State 3-4
Kansas 3-4

Next season, the four teams will take the floor inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Nov. 13 with Kentucky taking on Duke and Kansas squaring off against Michigan State. The quartet heads to Madison Square Garden in 2019.