The Champions Classic, an annual four-team event that helps launch the start of the college basketball season, has been extended through 2019.
Announcements were made Wednesday. As always, Kentucky, Duke, Michigan State and Kansas are the four programs who will participate. The event was launched in 2011 and has become a staple of the first Tuesday of the sport's regular season. New York City's Madison Square Garden, which was the inaugural host, will get that honor again later this year; Chicago (2017), Indianapolis (2018) and New York City (2019) are locked in for the next three seasons.
How good is the event? The blue bloods involved speak for themselves. Per ESPN, there have been 31 draft picks who've seen the court at the Champions Classic in the past five seasons. Plenty more probably future NBA picks will be on display in November (Duke: Jayson Tatum and Harry Giles; Kentucky: Bam Adebayo, De'Aaron Fox, Malik Monk; Michigan State: Miles Bridges; Kansas: Josh Jackson).
This year's game will be held on Nov. 15. Here's the schedule in the years ahead as well.
|Nov. 15, 2016||Michigan State vs. Kentucky; Duke vs. Kansas||New York||Madison Square Garden|
|Nov. 14, 2017||Kansas vs. Kentucky; Duke vs. Michigan State||Chicago||United Center|
|Nov. 13, 2018||Duke vs. Kentucky; Michigan State vs. Kansas||Indianapolis||Bankers Life Fieldhouse|
|Nov. 12, 2019||Michigan State vs. Kentucky; Kansas vs. Duke||New York||Madison Square Garden|
Overall record for each team in the Champions Classic:
Michigan State 3-2
Duke is the anticipated No. 1 team heading into the season, with Kentucky No. 2 and MSU and Kansas both in the top 10.