Champions Classic 2018: 3 takeaways from No. 1 Kansas’ win over No. 10 Michigan State

The preseason No. 1 picked up a big win Tuesday.

Kansas, the top-ranked team in the country, took control early and held on for a 92-87 victory over No. 10 Michigan State at the 2018 Champions Classic in Indianapolis.

The Spartans made a big run in the second half and cut their deficit to three with a little less than 30 seconds to play. But Kansas made a pair of free throws in the final seconds to secure the win.

Here are three takeaways from the Jayhawks’ season-opening victory:

Kansas is as deep as advertised

Kansas was expected to be one of the deepest teams in all of college basketball heading into the season. After one game, that projection looks correct.

The Jayhawks starting five may be the most talented in the country and their other rotation players were impressive in the win, as well. Kansas received solid minutes off the bench as their reserves tallied 16 points.

Ten Kansas players recorded at least a point in the game and four scored 16 points or more.

Michigan State is balanced but lacks a star

Last season, Michigan State could give the ball to star forwards Miles Bridges and Jaren Jackson Jr. when it needed a basket in a big moment. The Spartans don’t appear to have a go-to player in 2018-19.

Michigan State fed forward Nick Ward in the post early, but he missed his first five field goal attempts and finished with nine points. Guard Cassius Winston recorded 13 points and 11 assists but shot just 30 percent from the floor. 

The Jayhawks started to pull away midway through the first half and the Spartans didn’t have a player they could rely on to get easy buckets to stop the run. Kenny Goins (17 points)​ and Joshua Langford (18 points) turned it on in the second half to help make the game close but it was too little too late.

Grimes breaks out in the national spotlight

Quentin Grimes had an impressive debut.

Playing in the national spotlight for the first time, the freshman guard tallied 21 points and knocked down six of his 10 3-pointers. For much of the night, Grimes was Kansas’ best player in his first collegiate game.

Quentin Grimes has made six (!!) 3-pointers for Kansas tonight already.

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The guard received less media attention than some of the other recruits in his class. He wasn’t even supposed to be the Jayhawks’ top newcomer — that was Memphis transfer Dedric Lawson.

But, if Tuesday’s game was any indication, Grimes could be the next freshman star at Kansas.

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