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Arizona shows balance in win over Duke

11/30/2013

NEW YORK -- Arizona freshman Aaron Gordon watched the Champions Classic two weeks ago like most college basketball fans.

After studying the teams -- notably the three led by freshmen -- he realized that he was in the perfect spot at Arizona.

"The offense runs through the freshmen,'' said Gordon of Kentucky, Duke and Kansas. "At Arizona, it's more equal opportunity and more team-oriented.''

And that's why Arizona -- at least as November ends -- looks more like a potential national champion than Duke after a 72-66 NIT Season Tip-Off victory at a raucous Madison Square Garden on Friday night.

Duke has arguably the top freshman and maybe the best player in the country in Jabari Parker. But Arizona has the more complete team.

Parker, and offensive partner Rodney Hood, are the focus for Duke. But if they're not touching the ball, there is cause for concern. How much Duke can rely on Quinn Cook, Rasheed Sulaimon or anyone inside beside Parker to get a bucket is unknown. And the defense is still a work in progress after giving up 90 points to a depleted -- and at the time one-win -- Vermont team last week.

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