Duke and Kentucky are currently saturating the league with top players. What would happen if the 12 best players from Duke played the 12 best players from Kentucky? I used a website called whatifsports.com to simulate that matchup.
Duke Depth Chart
- Kyrie Irving, Austin Rivers, Tyus Jones
- JJ Redick, Rodney Hood
- Rodney Hood, Justise Winslow, Luol Deng, Mike Dunleavy
- Jabari Parker, Luol Deng
- Jahlil Okafor, Mason Plumlee
Kentucky Depth Chart
- John Wall, Rajon Rondo, Eric Bledsoe
- Devin Booker, Brandon Knight
- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Trey Lyles
- Anthony Davis, Enes Kanter, Julius Randle
- Demarcus Cousins, Karl-Anthony Towns
Both teams struggle to put points on the board, but Duke is energized by JJ Redick, who drills two 3 point jumpshots to put Duke up 13-11. Kentucky’s big men aren’t too happy with this, as Demarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, and Karl-Anthony Towns lead Kentucky on a 11-0 run in 3 minutes to put Kentucky up by 9. Kyrie Irving and Justise Winslow are able to scrape a few points together, each scoring 2 points, but Enes Kanter and Rajon Rondo quickly nullify their points with skillful paint scoring.
The quarter ends with Kentucky leading Duke 26-17
Kentucky stays hot to start off the second quarter, as John Wall and Devin Booker lead the Wildcats on a 15-6 run, with Wall scoring 9 of those points. Kentucky Just can’t seem to be stopped and continue their hot shooting and end the half up 19 points with a score of 63-44.
The third quarter was all about Duke’s shooters. Rodney Hood and JJ Redick sparked a 20-6 run for the Blue Devils with Hood hitting two 3 pointers, a driving layup, and a pair of free throws while Redick contributes with a three pointer and an assisted field goal of his own. Duke continues to dominate the third quarter, as they outscore Kentucky 35-12 to take a 79-75 lead.
The excitement continues as the scoring goes back and forth into the late minutes of the game. There was nothing new as Kentucky’s big’s exploited the lack of depth in Duke’s frontcourt by pounding away in the paint. In the end, it was all about JJ Redick, who scored 7 points in the last 3 minutes of the game to secure a Duke come-from-behind victory.
Final Score: Duke 111-105 Kentucky
Duke: JJ Redick finished the game with 28 points. He shot a solid 9/17 from the field, but the difference came from beyond the arc where he shot 7/12. Jahlil Okafor and Kyrie Irving were key in Duke’s victory as well. Okafor had 19 points and 8 rebounds while Irving had 16 points and 7 assists.
Kentucky: Demarcus Cousins had a stellar performance despite his side falling short in the end. He contributed 25 points and 14 rebounds with 6 of those rebounds coming on the offensive side. John Wall had his teams other double-double with 16 points and 15 assists.