NEW YORK — Tyrese Maxey, Kentucky’s latest freshman star, scored 26 points and the second-ranked Wildcats opened the season with a 69-62 victory against No. 1 Michigan State on Tuesday night in the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden.
The Nos. 1 and 2 teams opened their seasons against each other for the first time since 1975 and the Wildcats made their case to be top-ranked next week.
Michigan State entered the season as the No. 1 team in the country for the first time, but aside from All-American Cassius Winston, the Spartans struggled to score. Winston had 21 points.
After Winston cut the lead to three on a three-point play with 1:27 left, Maxey hit a 3 from way behind the line to make it 65-60 with 59 seconds left.
The Spartans couldn’t find the range from 3, going 5 for 26 and certainly looked like they could have used the scoring of senior guard Joshua Langford, who is expected to be out until January with a right foot injury.
NO. 4 DUKE 68, NO. 3 KANSAS 66
NEW YORK — Tre Jones scored 15 points and Cassius Stanley added 11 of his 13 points in the second half to help Duke beat Kansas in the opener of the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden.
While Duke doesn’t have the star-studded freshmen class of last season of Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish and RJ Barrett, coach Mike Krzyzewski may have a more balanced team, capable of making plays down the stretch when needed.
Trailing 61-59 with 2:29 left, Stanley drove to the basket and made the layup and was fouled. The freshman guard converted the free throw to give the Blue Devils a one-point lead.
Devon Dotson missed a layup on the other end and Jones then hit a jumper that bounced off the rim twice before dropping in with 1:33 left.
Dotson finished with 17 points.
NO. 5 LOUISVILLE 87, MIAMI 74
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Jordan Nwora’s 23-point performance included four 3-pointers and a throwdown dunk in Louisville’s season-opening win.
The Cardinals are touted as a potential Final Four team, and they lived up to the hype with a rout on the road against an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent.
Nwora, the preseason ACC player of the year, shot 8 for 16 and had 12 rebounds in 31 minutes.
McMahon and Dwayne Sutton had 16 points apiece for the Cardinals, who shot 54%.
Chris Lykes had 18 points and DJ Vasiljevic scored 16 for the Hurricanes.
NO. 6 FLORIDA 74, NORTH FLORIDA 59
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Kerry Blackshear Jr. had 20 points and 10 rebounds in his Florida debut, and the Gators beat North Florida.
Blackshear, who came to Gainesville after four years at Virginia Tech, added three assists and two steals.
Scottie Lewis finished with nine points, five rebounds and two assists in his college debut. Tre Mann had 11 points and four boards.
Noah Locke chipped in 14 points for the Gators.
JT Escobar led North Florida with 15 points. Garrett Sams added 14.
NO. 7 MARYLAND 95, HOLY CROSS 71
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Jalen Smith had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Darryl Morsell scored 15 and Maryland launched a season of high hopes by defeating Holy Cross.
Taking full advantage of their height and depth, the Terrapins placed four players in double figures, finished with a 47-33 rebounding advantage and scored 64 points in the paint.
Freshman guard Drew Lowder scored 24 for Holy Cross, playing its first game under coach Brett Nelson.
NO. 8 GONZAGA 95, ALABAMA STATE 64
SPOKANE, Wash. — Corey Kispert scored a career-high 28 points as Gonzaga used a second-half surge to beat Alabama State.
Filip Petrusev added 15, Admon Gilder scored 12 and Ryan Woolridge had 11 for depleted Gonzaga, which is down to nine scholarship players. The Bulldogs have won 16 consecutive season openers dating to 2003.
Jacoby Ross scored 16 points and Brandon Battle had 10 for Alabama State in the first meeting between the teams.
NO. 10 VILLANOVA 97, ARMY 54
VILLANOVA, Pa. — Jeremiah Robinson-Earl scored 24 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Saddiq Bey had 22 points to help Villanova cruise past Army.
Robinson-Earl, the preseason Big East Freshman of the Year, was sensational in his debut and scored 15 points by the break.
Cole Swider scored 18 points and hit four of Villanova’s 12 3-pointers.
Tommy Funk and Tucker Blackwell led Army with 15 points.
NO. 12 SETON HALL 105, WAGNER 71
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. — Myles Powell scored 27 points to lead Seton Hall to the win without coach Kevin Willard.
Seton Hall announced a week ago that the NCAA is investigating the program and Willard would be sitting out two games.
Quincy McKnight added 10 points and seven assists for Seton Hall.
Patrick Szpir led Wagner with 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Alex Morales finished with 13 points.
NO. 13 TEXAS TECH 85, EASTERN ILLINOIS 60
LUBBOCK, Texas — Newcomer Jahmi’us Ramsey led Texas Tech with 19 points as the much-changed Red Raiders opened the season by beating Eastern Illinois, seven months after playing in the national championship game.
Davide Moretti, the only returning starter from last season’s team that lost in overtime to Virginia in the title game, had 11 points.
TJ Holyfield scored 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting for Tech, and fellow newcomer Terrance Shannon Jr. scored 11 points.
George Dixon had 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead Eastern Illinois.
NO. 14 MEMPHIS 97, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE 64
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — James Wiseman, the nation’s top-rated recruit, had 28 points and 11 rebounds for Memphis.
Fellow freshman Precious Achiuwa added 14 points and eight rebounds.
Ian Kinard led South Carolina State with 13 points, and Jahmari Etienne scored 11.
NO. 15 OREGON 71, FRESNO STATE 57
EUGENE, Ore. — Payton Pritchard scored 24 points, Chris Duarte added 16 in his first game with Oregon and the Ducks beat Fresno State.
Duarte looked sharp in his first game as a junior college transfer, and Francis Okoro added 12 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double.
Nate Grimes led the Bulldogs with 13 points.
Oregon took control with a 21-6 run to end the first half.
NO. 16 BAYLOR 105, CENTRAL ARKANSAS 61
WACO, Texas — Jared Butler scored 30 points with a career-high eight 3-pointers to lead four Baylor players in double figures, and the Bears opened coach Scott Drew’s 17th season with a win.
The hometown Bears scored the first 19 points in the game that began at 11 a.m. and was played before a crowd filled mostly with elementary school students.
Transfer guard MaCio Teague had 18 points and 10 rebounds in his Baylor debut. Devonte Bandoo scored 15 points and Freddie Gillespie had 14.
Rylan Bergersen, a transfer from BYU, had 17 points in his Central Arkansas debut.
NO. 17 UTAH STATE 81, MONTANA STATE 73
LOGAN, Utah — Sam Merrill scored 28 points and Utah State got past Montana State.
Alphonso Anderson and Justin Bean each added 13 points for the Aggies. Utah State overcame 37.7% shooting from the field to hold off the Bobcats by getting to the line.
Harald Frey led Montana State with 34 points on 10-of-20 shooting. The Bobcats had 15 turnovers, leading to 14 points for Utah State.
NO. 19 XAVIER 76, JACKSONVILLE 57
CINCINNATI — Tyrique Jones had 17 points and 11 rebounds, Naji Marshall also scored 17 and Xavier beat Jacksonville.
Paul Scruggs scored all 12 of his points in the first half, including a pair of 3-pointers, to help the Musketeers build a 21-point lead at the break. Bryce Moore’s 3 off an assist from Scruggs put Xavier ahead 41-22 late in the half.
Xavier freshman Zach Freemantle scored 11 points in his debut, including a two-handed dunk for his first points.
Aamahne Santos and Bryce Workman each had 15 points for Jacksonville.
NO. 20 SAINT MARY’S 65, WISCONSIN 63, OT
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Jordan Ford scored 26 points, Malik Fitts added 16 and Saint Mary’s hung on to beat Wisconsin in overtime.
Freshman Kyle Bowen hit 1 of 2 free throws with 4.4 seconds remaining for the Gaels, and Wisconsin had a chance to win it, but Aleem Ford’s deep 3-pointer at the buzzer was short.
Nate Reuvers tied a career high with 22 points and Brad Davison scored 16 for Wisconsin.
NO. 24 AUBURN 83, GEORGIA SOUTHERN 74
AUBURN, Ala. — Samir Doughty scored 20 points to lead Auburn past Georgia Southern.
The Tigers, coming off their first Final Four trip last season, could never quite pull away from the Sun Belt Conference’s Eagles. But Doughty made five of six free throws over the final 1:09 to avoid a late scare.
Austin Wiley had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Tigers, and Danjel Purifoy also scored 13 while making three 3s.
Ike Smith, who took a medical redshirt last season after missing 23 games, scored 16 points for Georgia Southern.
NO. 25 VCU 72, ST. FRANCIS 58
RICHMOND, Va. — Marcus Santos-Silva had 21 points and 18 rebounds and No. 25 VCU used a big early run to take command against St. Francis.
De’Riante Jenkins added 16 points and Marcus Evans scored 12 for the Rams.
Isaiah Blackmon scored 15 and Keith Braxton had 11 for the Red Flash.