Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - The two winningest teams in Division I college basketball get together on Tuesday night, as the fifth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks challenge the top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats.
The game will be played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis as part of the Champions Classic, and will follow the first half of the doubleheader pitting No. 19 Michigan State against No. 4 Duke.
Kansas opened the season with a 69-59 win over visiting UC Santa Barbara, while Kentucky has a pair of wins to its credit after taking down Grand Canyon (85-45) and Buffalo (71-52), both at home.
Kansas enters the fray with 2,127 victories, which is just behind Kentucky's 2,142. The two schools have combined to make 30 Final Four appearances, and both teams entered this campaign with serious national championship aspirations.
Kentucky head coach John Calipari is one win shy of reaching 600 victories for his career at the Division I level, making him the 13th active coach to achieve the feat.
Kentucky owns a 21-6 lead in the all-time series versus Kansas, which includes a 7-1 mark in neutral-site affairs. The Wildcats have won the last two meetings, including the 2012 national championship game.
It wasn't the ideal opener from a statistical standpoint, but Kansas coach Bill Self will take the win as his Jayhawks topped UC Santa Barbara by double digits. Devonte Graham came off the bench to lead the team with 14 points, while starters Perry Ellis (13 points), Frank Mason III (12 points) and Wayne Selden, Jr. (10 points) all finished in double figures as well. Ellis actually turned in a double-double as he also grabbed 10 rebounds, as did Jamari Traylor, the Jayhawks easily winning the battle on the boards, 42-31. They also outscored their opponent at the free-throw line, 23-9, but shot just 41.5 percent from the field, hitting a mere two 3-pointers in 10 attempts.
Trey Lyles was named the SEC Freshman of the Week after averaging 13.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in Kentucky's first two games. He is the only UK player to reach double figures in both tilts, and he is coming off a 12-point, four- carom, three-assist effort in the Wildcats' come-from-behind win over Buffalo. Calipari's club also got 12 points and six helpers from Tyler Ulis and 10 points from Devin Booker, with each of the three coming off the bench. No starter scored more than eight points (Aaron Harrison), as the team shot just 41 percent from the field, which included a 6-of-20 showing from 3-point range (.300). A massive 45-25 edge on the glass helped the 'Cats overcome a five- point halftime deficit, as did the fact that the team held the Bulls to 34.8 percent field goal efficiency while taking advantage of 17 turnovers.