Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports news from Tuesday, highlighted by the top four teams in men’s college basketball tipping off the season at Madison Square Garden in the Champions Classic.
We’ll also take a look at the Panthers shutting down Cam Newton for the season, the debut of this season’s College Football Playoff rankings and a wild comeback by LeBron James and the Lakers in Chicago.
All this and more as we get you up to speed with the sports world on this Wednesday.
Duke and Kentucky Win on Opening Night; Top-Four Teams Showcased in Champions Classic at MSG
The top four teams in the nation under one roof at the “World’s Greatest Arena” to tip-off the 2019-2020 college basketball season. You couldn’t ask for anything more on night one, could you?
Four of the game’s blue blood programs met in a marquee doubleheader at the ninth annual State Farm Champions Classic on Tuesday night.
In the opener, No. 4 Duke debuted their new freshman class of studs, outlasting No. 3 Kansas, 68-66.
A year-removed from an all-world freshman class that supplied three of the top ten picks in this past summer’s NBA Draft (Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish), Duke is back with the second-ranked recruiting class in the country.
One of the key pieces in Duke’s 32-6 campaign last season, Tre Jones is back for his sophomore season and he picked up where he left off on Tuesday night, scoring 15 points with 7 assists and 6 rebounds.
“The difference maker was Tre. Lot of young guys, lot of new guys,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said.
“We really tried to play good defense in our first 30 practices. We played really good defense (tonight). It starts with that kid. Really happy with my team. Terrific win for us.”
Duke erased a nine-point deficit in the second half on their way to a season-opening win.
Kansas played an extremely sloppy game, turning the ball over 28 times (18 in the first half).
The Jay Hawks welcomed back Udoka Azubuike, who scored 8 points on Tuesday night. The senior center, who was named the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year by the league’s coaches, only played in nine games last season after he tore ligaments in his hand.
The doubleheader was capped by a meeting of the top two teams in the country, No. 1 Michigan State and No. 2 Kentucky. It marked the first time since 1975 that No. 1 and No. 2 opened their seasons against each other.
Kentucky, who was embarrassed in the Champions Classic by Duke in a 34-point beatdown last season, rose to the occasion on Tuesday, taking down top-ranked Michigan State, 69-62.
Leading the way for Kentucky was their budding freshman star, Tyrese Maxey, who scored a game-high 26 points and made a name for himself when the lights shined the brightest on night one.
Michigan State, who was entering a season ranked No. 1 for the first time in their program’s history, struggled from three-point range, hitting only 5 of 26 shots from behind the arc.
Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton Placed on Injured Reserve, Will Miss Rest of Season
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton’s disappointing 2019 season, which has been marred by a nagging foot injury which would not heal, officially came to an end on Tuesday as the team placed him on injured reserve.
Newton suffered a Lisfranc injury in the third preseason game and then aggravated it in Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The 2015 NFL MVP completed just 56.2% of his passes in his two games of action this season and didn’t throw a single touchdown.
Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said in a statement on Tuesday that foot specialists have agreed that it will be a long recovery period for Newton.
“For the past seven weeks, Cam has diligently followed a program of rest and rehab and still is experiencing pain in his foot,” Hurney said in the statement. “He saw two foot specialists last week who agreed that he should continue that path prescribed by the team’s medical staff and that it likely will take significant time for the injury to fully heal.
“We have said all along that it is impossible to put a timetable on this injury. Nobody is more frustrated with that fact than Cam.”
Prior to this season, the 2011 first overall pick had missed only three starts in seven years.
The 30-year-old three-time Pro Bowler has one year remaining on his contract. Should the Panthers opt to move on from their franchise QB, they would clear $19.1 million in cap space.
Second-year QB Kyle Allen has filled in admirably under center, going 5-1 since Newton went down.
Allen has thrown for 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns and currently has the Panthers positioned in second place in the NFC South.
DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Headlines
- Ohio State sits at No. 1 in debut of season’s College Football Playoff ranking
- Lakers rally in fourth to beat Bulls, LeBron James nets third straight triple-double
- Jaguars QB Nick Foles returns to starting role, Gardner Minshew to serve as backup
- Chargers owner passionately shoots down report of team’s possible London relocation
- Hawks’ John Collins suspended 25 games for violating NBA’s drug policy
- Texas’ Andrew Jones has triumphant return from leukemia treatment, scores 20 points
- Islanders beat Senators to extend winning streak to 10 games
WHAT’S ON TAP IN THE SPORTS WORLD ON WEDNESDAY
NBA: Milwaukee Bucks (5-2) at Los Angeles Clippers (5-2)
A marquee matchup of two of the favorites to win this season’s NBA title meet tonight in Los Angeles when the Clippers host the Bucks. Reigning NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard is expected to sit out the game due to load management.
WHEN: Tonight, 10 p.m. ET
Missed Yesterday’s Roundup? Click here for it.