Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and Michigan State’s Tom Izzo dismissed their previous meeting, an 81-71 Blue Devils victory in the Champions Classic, also played in Indianapolis. The game was played in November, a distant memory for the teams.
But the high-level games, which were staged for the fourth time in 2014, were valuable to the teams.
“That’s been a good deal for our programs, I think to play a doubleheader at the start of the year,” Kryzewski said.
The only team that plays in the Champions Classic and isn’t at the Final Four is Kansas.
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In three of the four years of the event, at least one of the teams has reached the Final Four, including the Jayhawks in 2012.
Next season’s Champions Classic is set for Nov. 17 in Chicago: Duke vs. Kentucky and Kansas vs. Michigan State. The 2016 event is set for Madison Square Garden in New York.