Since its inception in 2011, ESPN’s Champions Classic has become college basketball’s most elite regular season event, pitting Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, and Michigan State against one another in what is sometimes a preview of what’s to come in the postseason. That’s why it’s no surprise that all four teams agreed to extend the series through 2019, according to Andy Katz.
This year’s Champions Classic will feature Kentucky vs. Michigan State and Duke vs. Kansas on November 15 at Madison Square Garden. Here are the future matchups, which ESPN announced this afternoon:
- Nov. 14, 2017: Kansas vs. Kentucky and Duke vs. Michigan State, United Center in Chicago
- Nov. 13, 2018: Michigan State vs. Kansas and Duke vs. Kentucky, Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis
- Nov. 12, 2019: Kansas vs. Duke and Michigan State vs. Kentucky at Madison Square Garden in New York City
John Calipari had this to say about extending the series, in which Kentucky has a 3-2 record.
“It has become one of the premier college basketball events on the national schedule every year,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “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.”
The Champions Classic has given us some great memories over the years, including Tyler Ulis’ breakout party vs. Duke last season and, in 2014, Kentucky’s shellacking of Kansas:
Here’s to many more Champions Classic memories to come.