Champions Classic Renewed for Three More Years
BRISTOL, Conn. – ESPN has announced the State Farm Champions Classic – the neutral site doubleheader series featuring men’s basketball powers Kansas, Duke, Kentucky and Michigan State – will be renewed for three additional years rotating through the cities of Indianapolis (2014), Chicago (2015) and New York City (2016). Kansas will play Kentucky in 2014, Michigan State in 2015 and Duke in 2016.
“The University of Kansas is excited and proud to be part of the Champions Classic,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said. “It’s the most talked about premiere early season event that our sport offers and to be involved with Duke, Michigan State and Kentucky on a yearly basis brings nothing but excitement to our sport.”
The inaugural Champions Classic was held at Madison Square Garden in 2011 followed by the Georgia Dome in 2012. In 2011, Kansas and Kentucky’s Champions Classic meeting also became the matchup for the 2012 NCAA National Championship title game in New Orleans. Last season KU fell late to Michigan State in Atlanta.
This season’s Champions Classic pits four top-5 teams in the Associated Press preseason poll – No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 2 Michigan State at 6:30 p.m. (Central) followed by No. 5 Kansas vs. No. 4 Duke – on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at the United Center in Chicago. The last time such a highly-ranked occurrence happened in the same doubleheader at the same venue was the 2008 Final Four when Kansas defeated North Carolina and Memphis defeated UCLA in San Antonio. Kansas would go on to win the 2008 NCAA National Championship.
ESPN will mark the opening of the college basketball season with the College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon providing more than 29 hours of consecutive basketball coverage over Monday, Nov. 11 and Tuesday, Nov. 12. The schedule includes 16 men’s matchups and two women’s games across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, ending with the Champions Classic on ESPN.
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