KU basketball will play in Champions Classic for another three years

11/07/2013 11:52 AM

11/07/2013 12:55 PM

If you’re excited for No. 5 Kansas’ matchup with No. 4 Duke in the Champions Classic on Tuesday in Chicago, you have more to look forward to.

The Champions Classic, a neutral-site doubleheader that has become a college basketball staple in the last three years, is being renewed for another three-year run.

Kansas will join Duke, Kentucky and Michigan State for the annual event in Indianapolis (2014), Chicago (2015) and New York City (2016) — with venues to be determined.

Kansas will play Kentucky on Nov. 18, 2014, in Indianapolis, while Michigan State will square off against Duke. The matchup order is staying the same, with Kansas facing Michigan State on Nov. 17, 2015, in Chicago, and Duke on Nov. 15, 2016, in New York.

The inaugural Champions Classic took place at Madison Square Garden in New York in 2011; Kansas lost to Kentucky in a preview of the NCAA title game that season.

“The University of Kansas is excited and proud to be part of the Champions Classic,” KU coach Bill Self said in a statement released by all four schools and ESPN, which will broadcast the games. “It’s the most talked about premiere early-season event that our sport offers and to be involved with Duke, Michigan State and Kentucky on a yearly basis brings nothing but excitement to our sport.”

The Champions Classic field features three of the four most-victorious NCAA Division I programs: Kentucky is No. 1 with 2,111 wins, while Kansas is second with 2,101. Duke, 2,001 wins, is fourth, behind rival North Carolina.

The schools have also combined to win 17 NCAA titles and have appeared in 24 Final Fours in the last 21 years.

“When you talk about Duke, Kansas, Michigan State and Kentucky, you’re talking about four of the best programs in our sport,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “So it’s a great event for our fans. We’re happy we could renew it for three more years.”

Kansas is still looking for its first victory in the Champions Classic. After falling to Kentucky 75-65 in 2011, the Jayhawks lost to Michigan State 67-64 last season in Atlanta.

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