CHICAGO — Tyler Ulis scampered up and down the court. Jamal Murray muscled his way to the basket. Marcus Lee and Alex Poythress finished with authority.
Another year, another impressive bunch of Kentucky Wildcats.
Ulis had 18 points and six assists, and No. 2 Kentucky used its speed and athleticism to pull away from No. 5 Duke for a 74-63 victory in the Champions Classic on Tuesday night.
"We're going to be trouble in a fast-paced game like this," Ulis said. "Whoever gets the rebound … they just get out, push it on the break and we're very unselfish with the ball."
Kentucky (3-0) scored 17 off 16 Duke turnovers and enjoyed an 18-4 advantage in fastbreak points. Murray scored 11 of his 16 in the second half, and Isiah Briscoe added 12 points as the Wildcats had four players in double figures.
"If we learn to fight every possession, play the guy before he catches the ball, be alert defensively and stay in the stance … and play off of one another, we're going to be really good," coach John Calipari said. "If we don't, we'll be an average team."
Amile Jefferson led the Blue Devils (2-1) with 16 points and 15 rebounds, and Marshall Plumlee finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks.
Grayson Allen, who scored 54 in Duke's first two games, was held to six points on 2-of-11 shooting. He got his first basket on a 3-pointer from the corner with 12:08 left in the second half.
"This is a very athletic, physical team," Allen said. "I think the bigs were a lot taller than the teams that we've played so far. They did a great job of rotating over. The guards did a great job at pressuring the ball. They played a great team-defensive game."
Spurred on by a pro-Kentucky crowd, the Wildcats grabbed control with a 10-2 run early in the second half. Murray kicked it off with a layup and a dunk, and Skal Labissiere's layup made it 49-38 with 14:48 left.
Calipari's team was never really challenged again.
FSU 98, JU 79: Dwayne Bacon and Malik Beasley became the first Seminoles freshmen to score more than 20 in their first two games in 30 years. Bacon had 27 points and nine rebounds and Beasley added 21 points for host Florida State, which is 2-0 for the 11th time in Leonard Hamilton's 14 years as coach.
NO. 8 OKLA. 84, MEMPHIS 78: Buddy Hield scored 30 for the visiting Sooners in their season opener. Oklahoma returned four starters off its Sweet 16 team that finished 24-11, and Hield is a preseason All-American.
TULSA 77, NO. 9 WICHITA ST. 67: Shaquille Harrison scored 20 and Marquel Curtis added 16 for the host Hurricane, which ended a seven-game winning streak by the Shockers (1-1) in the series.
NO. 11 VILLANOVA 87, NEBRASKA 63: Josh Hart scored 19, Daniel Ochefu had 17 points and 10 rebounds and the host Wildcats (2-0) rolled.
NO. 18 N. DAME 86, MILWAUKEE 78: Demetrius Jackson scored 20, V.J. Beachem tied a career high with 19 while adding a career-best eight rebounds and all five starters scored in double figures for the host Irish (2-0).
NO. 19 UCONN 85, NEW HAMPSHIRE 66: Sterling Gibbs scored 18 of his 21 in the first half and Rodney Purvis added 20 points for the host Huskies (2-0). Purvis and Gibbs each made five of Connecticut's 13 3-pointers.
MISSissippi ST.: Sophomore forward Demetrius Houston was indefinitely suspended because of "conduct detrimental to the team."
WISCONSIN: Freshman forward Andy Van Vliet is ineligible for the season after the NCAA denied the school's appeal seeking his reinstatement.
NEW TOURNAMENT: A new single-elimination tournament for 16 teams that don't make the NCAA Tournament will be played in Las Vegas in late March. Called "Vegas 16," the event will be played March 26-30 at Cox Pavilion on the UNLV campus.
NO. 22 GW 74, AMERICAN 48: Caira Washington had 21 points and 11 rebounds and shot 10-of-12 from the floor for the host Colonials (2-0).
INDIANA 54, NO. 24 CHATTANOOGA 43: Tyra Buss scored 16 and led a surge to open the fourth quarter as the host Hoosiers upset the Mocs (2-1) in the preseason WNIT.
NO. 6 FSU: Senior center Adut Bulgak and junior guard Leticia Romero were selected to the John R. Wooden Award Women's Preseason Top 30, announced by the leaders of the player of the year award.