Posted: Nov 13, 2011 7:15 PM
Updated: Nov 13, 2011 7:25 PM
Kentucky will be at the center of the college basketball universe when they return to the court Tuesday against Kansas.
The No. 2 Wildcats (1-0) will face the No. 13 Jayhawks (1-0) at Madison Square Garden as part of the inaugural Champions Classic. ESPN will broadcast the game - scheduled for a 9 pm tipoff - as its primetime matchup during its day-long Tipoff Marathon.
John Calipari knows that a big stage and a quality opponent can make a young team do uncharacteristic things.
"I really think we'll be fine, I just don't know if we're ready to play a team like Kansas," Calipari said after Kentucky's season opening, 108-58 win against Marist. The Wildcats lead by nine points before pulling away during a 63-point second half.
"You just saw the first half and you had to walk away and say, ‘ah, maybe he's right," Calipari said in defense of his claim that there are sixty teams that could beat the Wildcats this early in the season.
"You see the second half and say, ‘ah, they could beat anybody.' But what about the first half? What if we play two halves that way?"
Senior Darius Miller believes the team is ready and is looking forward to playing on the national stage.
"In my opinion, it will be one of the highlights of my career here. It's going to be a tough game. I think it's going to be a really exciting game and I can't wait to play it," he said.