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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / November 22.
  • By ADAM ZAGORIA

    In the hours after Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Duke shellacked Kentucky by 34 points to open the college basketball season at the Champions Classic, ESPN kicked its hype machine into high gear.

    “We got a shot at seeing a basketball team go that can go undefeated,” Stephen A. Smith declared on ESPN’s “First Take.”

    “It’s ridiculously early,” said his colleague Max Kellerman. “They have a chance to do what hasn’t been done in a long time.”

    There was even talk from ESPN’s Paul Pierce that Duke could beat the woeful Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Of course, Duke was never going undefeated, as I wrote at Forbes SportsMoney earlier this month. The Blue Devils still had to navigate the loaded Maui Invitational field, not to mention the rigors of the ACC regular-season schedule.