ATLANTA - Seth Curry scored 23 points and No. 9 Duke held off a furious comeback by No. 3 Kentucky, beating the defending national champions 75-68 Tuesday night in the first matchup between the storied programs since 2001.
Duke (1-1) appeared to be in control, even with Mason Plumlee on the bench in foul trouble. The Blue Devils ripped off a 13-3 run, capped by Rasheed Sulaimon's 3-pointer that made it 58-44 with 9 1/2 minutes remaining.
But Kentucky (1-1) wasn't done, rallying like the defending champ even though this is essentially a whole new team. The Wildcats outscored Duke 17-6 over the next six minutes and actually had a chance to tie it.
Julius Mays missed a 3-pointer with the Blue Devils clinging to a 64-61 lead.
Curry made sure youthful Kentucky didn't get any closer. He schooled freshman guard Archie Goodwin on a drive that essentially clinched the win.