Champions Classic: Perry Ellis, Andrew Wiggins Lead Kansas Past Jabari Parker and No. 4 Duke

It was tough to follow a game as riveting as Michigan State’s win against Kentucky, but No. 5 Kansas’ upset of No. 4 Duke certainly competed. The game was neck-and-neck until Kansas used a 9-2 run in the final 1:33 to win, 94-83.

Duke jumped out to an 8-2 lead a little more than three minutes into the game on an and-one from Amile Jefferson, a layup from Quinn Cook, and a three-pointer from Rodney Hood, but Kansas fought back and held a six-point advantage of its own after Perry Ellis’ bucket with 5:10 to play in the first half. Ellis finished with a breakout performance of 24 points, nine rebounds, and three steals.

For the next 23:53, neither team led by more than five points.

With 2:53 left in the game, Kansas took the lead for good on Wayne Selden Jr.’s putback of Frank Mason’s miss. With the Jayhawks leading 83-81, freshmen phenom Andrew Wiggins took control. Wiggins first drilled a pull-up jumper to make the lead two possessions, and then he finished the next trip down the court with a thunderous, and-one dunk off an Ellis steal.

The Jayhawks then made all six of their free throws in the final minute to keep Duke out of reach.

The game was largely advertised as a duel between Wiggins and Duke’s freshman star Jabari Parker, and in that regard it easily lived up to the hype.

While Wiggins took control late in the game, Parker, a Chicago native, served as the first half’s entertainment. Parker scored 19 of his 27 points in the first period on 6-of-10 shooting. Kansas held him to eight points in the second half, but he still turned heads with this athletic alley-oop from Cook.

“I think it’s remarkable that a kid who is 18 in his second game can come in here, and I’ll just speak for Jabari because I don’t coach the other kids,” said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, better known as Coach K. “You go to your hometown and you’re playing Kansas, and you were sensational. Imagine the emotion that you use. He wasn’t just worn out towards the end because of the way the game was played. I think he was emotioned out. But he was terrific, and that’s how you grow.”

“He was the best player in the game for a good stretch,” said Kanas head coach Bill Self.

Parker struggled much more offensively when Wiggins took on the defensive challenge of guarding him.

Photo: AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
Photo: AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

“I kind of wish we would have played Andrew on Jabari the whole time. [Andrew] wanted to do that. But I was nervous about fouls,” Self said. “Midway through the second half, I didn’t put him on Jabari; he just went to guard him. I think he got a piece of his shot that possession. I said, ‘Well, he’s probably right.’ I should have been listening to him the whole time.”

Wiggins, who finished with 22 points and eight rebounds, did not focus on the individual matchup between him and Parker.

“Our names on the jersey don’t say Parker and Wiggins. They say Kansas and Duke,” Wiggins said.

Coach K was excited after the game about the opportunity for Parker as well as the rest of the team to grow from this event.

He said, “There’s a lot of growth that has to take place. Growth doesn’t take place unless you experience. We can have theory on growth or you can have the experience of growing.”

Author: Jesse Kramer

Jesse Kramer is the founder of The Catch and Shoot. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He has had work featured on, College Insider, The Comeback/Awful Announcing, and 247Sports.

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