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Champions Classic renewed another three years through 2016

The Champions Classic -- a neutral-site doubleheader featuring Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State -- has been renewed for another three years, meaning next Tuesday's much-anticipated event at the United Center in Chicago will not represent the final installment of something undeniably good for college basketball.

The renewal was confirmed Thursday.

"The Champions Classic has turned out to be an amazing idea," said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. "The quality of basketball with four outstanding programs under one roof in early November is a great way to kick off the college basketball season."

Who could argue with that -- especially this year?

This season's Champions Classic features No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 2 Michigan State followed by No. 4. Duke ve. No. 5 Kansas. The next three years look like this:

  • 11/18/14: Kansas vs. Kentucky/Duke vs. Michigan State (in Indianapolis)
  • 11/17/15: Kansas vs. Michigan State/Duke vs. Kentucky (Chicago)
  • 11/15/16: Kentucky vs. Michigan State/Duke vs. Kansas (New York City)

"We all knew it was a great event when we first signed on, but it certainly has exceeded our expectations," said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo. "Combining these four elite programs in one event has provided a great tip-off event for the college basketball season."


Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for CBSSports.com and college basketball insider for the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts an award-winning radio show in Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two sons and two dogs.
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