Kentucky, Duke Square Off In Epic College Basketball Season Opener

The Kentucky Wildcats and Duke Blue Devils are facing each other Tuesday in an early season game that promises to be full of fireworks.

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 17: Tyler Ulis #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats drives past Chase Jeter #2 of the Duke Blue Devils during the Champions Classic at the United Center on November 17, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

The Kentucky Wildcats and Duke Blue Devils are facing each other Tuesday in an early season game that promises to be full of fireworks.

The game of the season just may be the very first game of the season for two storied programs: The University of Kentucky Wildcats and the Duke University Blue Devils. Fans are wearing blue on both sides, but don’t you dare confuse the two — these rivals are passionate in their dislike of each other.

The two historic college teams will meet at neutral grounds at 9:30 p.m. EST Tuesday night, facing off at Banker Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. This is the first time the two blue bloods have met since November 2015 in the Champions Classic, the same event bringing them together Tuesday, according to A Sea Of Blue.

Kentucky won that game 74 to 63, according to ESPN.

The two teams have played each other 21 times. Kentucky leads the series by a small margin at 12 to 9, according to Big Blue History.

Kentucky is preseason ranked at No. 2, while Duke is No. 4. But on Tuesday, both teams are really battling to see who is No. 1 in the minds of the fans who have been watching this rivalry for decades.

VegasInsider shows a slight edge for Kentucky, listing the team as a 1-point favorite in a game that promises to be full of ties and lead changes.

Kentucky is arguably enjoying one of their most experienced teams in years, boasting a roster full of sophomores along with the usual crop of new freshmen. The sophomores on the floor are old alums of the college game; they helped lead Kentucky to a Sweet Sixteen last year.

This year, it’s Duke that’s packed with the fresh superstars: they netted the top 1,2 and 3 recruits in the nation to round out their team. Coach Mike Krzyzewski scored the country’s top recruiting class, but the young team will have a big test as it faces Coach John Calipari and the hungry Wildcats.

The exciting game could easily be a preview of the NCAA National Championship game scheduled to take place in early April, as the two teams often find themselves on opposite sides of the March Madness bracket.

Famously, the two teams have been rivals of each other for many years — but things really got intense in the early 1990s thanks to Christian Laettner and the shot heard around the world.

Ask a Kentucky fan and they’ll tell you they’re still angry about that game.

The trash talking on Twitter began as soon as this season’s schedule was revealed, but things really heated up on Tuesday as game time draws ever closer.