Duke vs. Kentucky, South Carolina vs. NC State and more from opening night in college basketball

Welcome to the start of the 2021 college basketball season.

November brings the return of basketball to college campuses across the country, and there is a lot to look forward to Tuesday. On the men’s side, No. 9 Duke and No. 10 Kentucky will start the season against each other in an AP top-10 matchup, along with No. 1 Gonzaga beginning its journey back to the Final Four.

On the women’s side, No. 1 South Carolina has a top-five matchup with No. 5 NC State to kick off the year, and 16 other ranked teams take the floor.

Opening night in college hoops brings the return of home-court advantage. With fans back in the stands again, there will be more noise and storming of the courts this season.

Here are some of the best moments from opening night:

Block party

The South Carolina Gamecocks women’s basketball team had a big test to start the year, as it faced NC State. Even though the game was competitive throughout, the Gamecocks were too much for the Wolfpack. Aliyah Boston put in work on both ends of the floor (just look at her stat line). The junior forward put up eight points, six rebounds and two assists in the contest, but her effort on the defensive end is what got her recognition from a high-profile player.

Scott blocked five shots in the season opener, asserting herself as a threat in the paint. WNBA star Layshia Clarendon took notice of Boston’s block party and shouted her out on Twitter.

First game, fresh kicks:

Nothing says you are ready to hoop like wearing a perfect pair of kicks. Duke women’s basketball might not be ranked in the AP top 25 yet, but Vanessa de Jesus, Celeste Taylor and Miela Goodchild should earn a top ranking for the shoes they showed up in ahead of their season-opening game against the Winthrop Eagles.

The Blue Devils are a Nike-sponsored team, so it’s no surprise that these women showed up rocking some of the freshest Nike and Jordan shoes out there. Take a look. From the Air Jordan 1 High OG “UNC to Chicago” to the Off-White Jordan 4s, these are shoes to be desired.

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