Fans of blue blood programs Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and Michigan State will continue to get exciting matchups, as the organizers of the Champions Classic extended the series an additional three years through the 2019 season.
Champions Classic inks 'blue bloods' through '19 https://t.co/0zzLTlt3we
— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) August 24, 2016
These four teams have engaged in some great games since the inception of the series in 2011, which began at Madison Square Garden. The event rotates matchups and makes stops in Indianapolis and Chicago as well.
This season Duke will play Kansas, with Michigan State playing Kentucky at Madison Square Garden on November 15.
For the next three years, the matchups will be as follows (per Andy Katz of ESPN):
Kansas versus Kentucky and Duke versus Michigan State, Nov. 14, 2017, at the United Center in Chicago; Michigan State versus Kansas and Duke versus Kentucky, Nov. 13, 2018, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis; Kansas versus Duke and Michigan State versus Kentucky, Nov. 12, 2019, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The Champions Classic is a fantastic way to start the season, as Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and Michigan all usually reside in the top-10-15 annually. With the talent Mike Krzyzewski, John Calipari, Bill Self and Tom Izzo amass, this series is like an NBA audition.
“It has become one of the premier college basketball events on the national schedule every year,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said (per ESPN). “You’re talking about four blue-blood programs playing on a neutral, NCAA tournament-like stage. I know our fans love traveling to those cities. It’s always a tough way for a young team like ours to face those types of teams that early, but it’s a great opportunity for us to learn and to prepare for that type of environment down the road.”
Last season saw Kentucky beat Duke, and Michigan State upset Kansas behind Denzel Valentine’s triple-double at the United Center in Chicago.