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The State Farm Champions Classic

A Matchup of Champions



Released November 8, 2017 in Chicago, Ill.

Pitch

The State Farm Champions Classic is back in Chicago! You won’t want to miss these highly-contested matchups between the top four teams in the country. The prestigious Blue Devils of Duke will be squaring off against the resilient Spartans of Michigan State, while the high-flying Jayhawks of Kansas will be taking on the electric Wildcats of Kentucky.

Background

The Champions Classic is an annual early season matchup among four of the best teams in college basketball each year - Kansas, Kentucky, Duke and Michigan State. It started on November 15, 2011, when Duke took down Michigan State and Kentucky defeated Kansas in Madison Square Garden. The matchups have been as tightly contested as advertised with no team having a clear advantage by their record. Out of the six games played by each team, Kentucky has most wins with four. Kentucky is followed by Duke and Michigan State with three wins. Kansas has the fewest wins with two.

Facts

    The doubleheader will be played at the home of the Chicago Bulls, the United Center, on November 14, 2017. Tipoff for Duke and Michigan State is set for 6 p.m. central. Tipoff for Kansas and Kentucky is set for 8:30 p.m. central.
    Tickets may be purchased online at the unitedcenter.com or through independent ticket websites such as StubHub or Ticketmaster.
    The doubleheader will be televised on ESPN.
    Three of the four teams from the 2014 Champions Classic advanced to the 2015 Final Four (Kentucky, Duke and Michigan State), with Duke winning the National Championship that year.

Quotes

The Champions Classic has turned out to be an amazing idea,” said Mike Krzyzewski, Duke head coach. “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 University of Kansas is excited and proud to be part of the Champions Classic,” said Bill Self, Kansas head coach. “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.
We are excited to continue and be a part of this season-opening event,” said John Calipari, Kentucky head coach. “The Champions Classic does a couple of things for our schedule. One, it allows us to play an early-season marquee game at a neutral site, which is important for our team to play in before the NCAA Tournament. Secondly, when you talk about Duke, Kansas, Michigan State and Kentucky, you’re talking about four of the best programs in our sport. It’s a great event for our fans. We’re happy we could renew it for three more years.
Michigan State is thrilled that the Champions Classic is being renewed and is honored to be a part of the event once again,” said Tom Izzo, Michigan State head coach. “We all knew it was a great event when we first signed on, but it certainly has exceeded our expectations. Three years ago, I said the Champions Classic was like having a Final Four in November. Just look at this year’s event, and it’s possible the collection of teams is even better than most Final Fours. Combining these four elite programs in one event has provided a great tip-off event for the college basketball season, providing excellent exposure not only for the schools involved, but also the sport during a crowded time on the sports calendar.
The Champions Classic is a premier event in college basketball and an ideal way to tip-off the season,” said Nick Dawson, ESPN senior director, programming and acquisitions. “It doesn’t get much better than concluding a 24-hour marathon of hoops with four of the best programs in the country playing each other. We want to thank the schools and the cities of Indianapolis, Chicago and New York City for continuing what has become a must-see event in basketball.

State Farm is an all-inclusive insurance company that prides itself on diversity and keeping customers safe. State Farm is proud to represent the spirit of college basketball by kicking off the season with a bang.

For more information, visit http://www.unitedcenter.com/events/2017/11/14/state-farm-champions-classic/

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