In a compelling matchup, the top-ranked Kansas Jayhawks secured an 89-84 victory over the No. 17 Kentucky Wildcats in the Champions Classic on Tuesday night. The game, held at Mizzou Arena, featured standout performances, particularly from Kansas’ Hunter Dickinson.
Dickinson, a 7-foot-2 center who transferred from Michigan to Kansas, played a pivotal role in the Jayhawks’ success, contributing 27 points and an impressive 21 rebounds. He showcased his scoring ability by going 8 for 12 from the field and 10 for 11 at the free-throw line.
Kansas faced a challenging situation as they trailed by as many as 14 points in the second half, but Dickinson’s dominance, combined with key contributions from Dajuan Harris Jr. (23 points) and Kevin McCullar Jr. (12 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists for a triple-double), propelled the Jayhawks to a thrilling comeback.
Kentucky, playing without injured centers, displayed resilience throughout the game. Antonio Reeves led the Wildcats with 24 points, but his 3-for-17 shooting from beyond the arc impacted their ability to secure the win. Adou Thiero recorded a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
The Jayhawks closed the game with an 11-1 run, with Dickinson and Harris playing crucial roles in the late-game surge. Despite Kentucky’s efforts to tie the game in the final minutes, Kansas held on for the victory.
The win marked Kansas’ first game in Chicago since their 2022 NCAA championship run. Looking ahead, Kansas will face Chaminade in the opening round of the Maui Invitational, while Kentucky will host Stonehill.