Mich St., Duke, KU and UK to Tip Off Next Season By Playing Each Other


ashley judd

What’s most interesting about the sport of college basketball is how much it’s Q Rating as a sport increases during this season. No other sport has such a wide level of disinterest in the beginning (and again that really bothers me. I’m not advocating this apathy- just pointing it out) but then creates such a tremendous buzz at the end. Everyone loves March Madness, but not everyone cares in November, although they should.

There have been more key non-conference games in November and December lately, but now it’s going to be ramped up a notch, and right from the very the start.

Four of the game’s marquee programs: Michigan State Spartans (overlook last night’s bad loss at Syracuse, they’ll be alright come March), the Duke Blue Devils, Kentucky Wildcats and Kansas Jayhawks have all agreed to get together and get the season started right and tight.

By Paul M. Banks

michigan state basketball

According to ESPN.com’s Andy Katz the four programs:

have committed to create the Champions Classic, an early season marquee event debuting in 2011 and televised by ESPN.

The first Champions Classic is set for Madison Square Garden in New York, with Duke facing Michigan State and Kentucky meeting Kansas on Nov. 15, 2011.

Year 2 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta will see Michigan State vs. Kansas and Duke vs. Kentucky on Nov. 13, 2012. The third event, Nov. 12, 2013 at the United Center in Chicago, will have Michigan State playing Kentucky and Kansas playing Duke.

“I’m ecstatic about it because for our program it’s probably bigger than all the others,” said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, who won the national championship in 2000 and has been to six Final Fours with the Spartans. “We’re maybe the team that has come on in the last 10 years while the others have been there for 50. It’s an honor and a privilege. It really will bring a lot of attention for basketball.”


Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

He also does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports Radio.com


  1. this is going to be awesome… especially since it will likely fall on or around the 24 hours of college basketball

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