On Monday, Lola Parker was thinking this Duke-Kansas matchup in the United Center was just another game.

Then the mayor of Chicago called.

"Tell Jabari, 'Welcome home, true son,' " Rahm Emanuel told Lola.

When she hung up the phone, it dawned on her.

"Oh, this might be a little special," she said with a laugh.

Just a little. Chicago's Jabari Parker and his Duke teammates were home to play Andrew Wiggins and his Kansas teammates, in one of the most anticipated early season matchups in college basketball history. The interest emanated far beyond the mayor's office; it went nationwide and north of the border, to Wiggins' home country of Canada. Everyone wanted to see the players who were Sports Illustrated cover boys before they'd ever played a minute of college basketball.

And in a sporting rarity, the showdown lived up to the towering hype. It might even have soared over it, giving us a glimpse of the sport's promising future.

Parker had 27 points, nine rebounds and most of the gasp-inducing highlights. Wiggins had 22 points, eight rebounds and the last laugh in a 94-83 victory that capped a tremendous Champions Classic doubleheader.