It's the third game as Duke's head coach, and he's only just beginning to get a feel and understanding of what it means to hold post at this noble, intimidating, I-won-the-lottery type of job. Two freebies to open the schedule and then it gets real: the new coach is faced with an unnerving matchup on a neutral court against a blue-blood opponent ranked in the top 10. 

It's no wonder Mike Krzyzewski lost that game 42 years ago. 

And it's no surprise the same situation led to the same outcome for Jon Scheyer on Tuesday night.

Krzyzewski's first L came on Dec. 5, 1980. He was 33 years old. Duke was 2-0 heading into that game the way it was 2-0 heading into Tuesday night's tilt with Kansas in the Champions Classic. But instead of playing the Jayhawks, Krzyzewski had to face his program's hated rival, North Carolina. UNC won by two and gave K his first loss at Duke. (If you're wondering why Duke and Carolina met on a neutral court in December, the Triangle's three big schools and Wake Forest used to play in a two-day showcase tournament. Forty-two years later, UNC would also hand Coach K his last loss, in the Final Four, but you already know that story.)

This isn't to suggest Scheyer, 35, is three games into a Hall of Fame career. But the initial parallels are too strong to overlook. Scheyer's No. 7 Blue Devils had a win snatched from their grasp by a plucky and newly confident No. 6 Kansas team. The reigning national champs have habits that won't shake so quickly. 

Jayhawks 69, Blue Devils 64. 

Duke was given a respectable top-10 preseason ranking thanks to program pedigree and Scheyer helping recruit the top-rated class in the country. There could be at least five future NBA picks on this roster. That alone won't cut it against most top-10 teams, as Tuesday night proved.

"To be in this environment and in this situation in Game 3 for our group was, I think, going to be a big-time learning experience," Scheyer said. "It hurts, that's how it should feel." 

Among the Blue Devils expected to earn double-digit minutes this season, six of them are freshmen. Because of this, Duke has the youngest rotation in the country. Not a new problem in Durham, but a wily and envious experiment for Scheyer, who employs one of the youngest staffs at the power-conference level and is himself the youngest guy among all head coaches in power leagues. 

It seems inevitable that Scheyer will, at minimum, have the dudes to outrun, overpower and out-athlete many teams on the schedule this season. Here's a wow from Tuesday night: Freshman big Kyle Filipowski (17 points, 14 rebounds ) is the first Duke player to start his career with three double-doubles. He was terrific, while the lone returning minutes-getter from last season's team, Jeremy Roach (16 points), was also a steadying presence. 

But it was another freshman, Kansas' Gradey Dick, who proved to be the difference-maker. Kansas closed the game on a 15-5 run, seven of those points coming from Dick on three consecutive possessions to flip the lead to KU. Dick was quiet much of the night but came up huge in a spot where his team needed it. Kansas junior Jalen Wilson scored a career-high 25 points, while Dajuan Harris had a personal-best 10 assists. Dick was bolstered by the veterans around him. Scheyer won't have that luxury in Year 1. KU (which didn't have Bill Self on the sidelines, due to a school-imposed four-game suspension) looked ready to take the game the minute Duke looked shaky. That was it. No more, no less. 

"Just being in these moments, there's no way to simulate it," Scheyer said. "That doesn't mean I'm happy or I'm enjoying this loss by any means. You have to hate it and learn from it, grow from it. But playing in the Champions Classic every year, of course you want to come away winning, but you probably learn more when you lose. Even if we won that game, we would've won not being at our best with the way we took care of the ball and some of the plays we can make and do a better job of. But absolutely playing in this makes you better as a team and as a program."

Your annual reminder that it's fatuous to draw grand conclusions from any college basketball team in any college basketball game in mid-November, let alone one that is learning by the day with a different person running the program after 42 years under the previous guy. 

It looked strange: watching a high-profile Duke game and not seeing Krzyzewski scowling from the sidelines, firing up his team or haranguing the officials. It also felt right; Scheyer seems to be the proper pick to lead Duke into a new era. He brings a different vibe. This is a program amid more profound change than any other, and nobody can truly know what to expect over the next few months. 

That first Krzyzewski team went 17-13, finished fifth in the ACC and missed the NCAA Tournament. Hopes are much higher for Scheyer's debut campaign, and with good reason. A lot's changed with Duke over the past seven months, but boasting first-round draft picks isn't one of those things. Experience can't be faked. Scheyer knows it. His players are about to learn why.

"They have championship DNA, they've been there before," Scheyer said of Kansas.

Duke can't claim championship DNA with this roster, but it does have as much talent as any team in the country. How that talent blends with Scheyer's coaching philosophy will combine for one of the sport's most intriguing plot points this season.