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3 Bold Predictions for No. 3 Kansas vs No. 4 Duke in NCAA Basketball Season Opener

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 31:  Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils addresses the media after the East Regional game of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament against the Michigan State Spartans at Capital One Arena on March 29, 2019 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The first day of the college basketball season will pit the best against the best...twice. The top two teams in the country in Michigan State and Kentucky will lock horns, as will No. 3 Kansas in No. 4 Duke in a matchup of blue blood programs. Will Bill Self's veterans win the day, or will Mike Krzyzewski take another group of standout 18-year-olds and lead them to glory once more?

3. Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike Both Pick up Double-Doubles

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - MARCH 21: Devon Dotson #11 of the Kansas Jayhawks drives to the basket during the second half against the Northeastern Huskies in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 21, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Northeastern v Kansas | Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Unlike most top programs, the Jayhawks have the luxury of being able to bring back their starting point guard and starting center in Dotson and Azubuike. With Dotson, a 48 percent shooter, being given a more expansive offensive role, he'll be able to give standout defensive point guard Tre Jones all he can handle. Azubuike is a load down low who is an expert at finishing near the rim and grinding for rebounds, and the pair should show their worth in front of the entire nation.

2. Duke's Freshmen Combine for 60+ Points

MIDDLE VILLAGE, NEW YORK - APRIL 04:  Vernon Carey Jr. #22 of NSU University School handles the ball on offense against Montverde Academy in the quarterfinal of the GEICO High School National Tournament at Christ the King High School on April 04, 2019 in Middle Village, New York. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
NSU University School v Montverde Academy | Steven Ryan/Getty Images

The Blue Devils worked their magic on the recruiting trail this season, replacing Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish with a whole new crop of talented youngsters. Vernon Carey Jr. has the makings of a dominant rebounder and post scorer, while Matthew Hurt is the prototype for a modern stretch 4. Wendell Moore and Cassius Stanley will also see major playing time. Early in the season, the phenomenal athleticism and chemistry of Williamson and Barrett overwhelmed college basketball, and the likes of Carey and Hurt could do the same again.

1. Duke Wins by 15+ Points

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 31:  Tre Jones #3 of the Duke Blue Devils dribbles up court during the East Regional game of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament against the Michigan State Spartans at Capital One Arena on March 29, 2019 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
NCAA East Regional | Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Kansas hasn't been pulling in the best defenders in the last few years, which had led to the Jayhawks looking vulnerable against teams that like to push the pace. With Jones conducting the Blue Devils' sure to be harmonious offense that is replete with 4 and 5-star talent, the Blue Devils could pull away early if they start out hot from beyond the three point line.