The State Farm Champions Classic, a neutral site doubleheader featuring Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State, has been renewed for three years as announced by ESPN Wednesday. The early-season event, matching four of the winningest programs in college basketball, will be played in Indianapolis (2014), Chicago (2015) and New York City (2016) with venues to be determined.
“The Champions Classic has turned out to be an amazing idea,” said Duke head 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. We have been honored to be a part of it and are thrilled that this is going to continue for the next three years.”
The marquee matchups, which began in 2011, will continue to be the culminating games of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon that provides more than 24 hours of consecutive basketball coverage to mark the start of the college basketball.
The third installment of the State Farm Champions Classic – on Tuesday, Nov. 12, from the United Center in Chicago – will showcase four of the top five teams in the nation: No. 2 Michigan State vs. No. 1 Kentucky (7:30 p.m.) and No. 5 Kansas vs. No. 4 Duke (9:30 p.m.). The inaugural game was held at Madison Square Garden in 2011 followed by the Georgia Dome in 2012.
Future Champions Classic Matchups
Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014 (Indianapolis)
- Kansas vs. Kentucky
- Michigan State vs. Duke
Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015 (Chicago)
- Kansas vs. Michigan State
- Kentucky vs. Duke
Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016 (New York City)
- Kentucky vs. Michigan State
- Duke vs. Kansas
- Records of the teams participating in the Champions Classic: Duke 2-0; Kentucky 1-1; Michigan State 1-1 and Kansas 0-2.
- Three of the top four all-time winningest men’s college basketball programs: Kentucky (first – 2,111), Kansas (second – 2,101) and Duke (fourth – 2,001).
- A combined 17 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship (since 1939): Kentucky (eight), Duke (four), Kansas (three) and Michigan State (two).
- A total of 24 NCAA Final Four appearances in the past 21 years: Duke (seven), Michigan State (six), Kansas (six) and Kentucky (five).