ESPN annoucning Wednesday Kentucky, Duke, Michigan State, and Kansas -- have committed to create the Champions Classic, an early-season marquee event debuting in 2011. All games will be 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 Gerogia 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.
ESPN quotes Michigan State coach Tom Izzo as saying college basketball has been lacking something of this nature. He said he committed to the concept as soon as he received the phone call. Izzo said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski had no qualms, either. Izzo said he called Kentucky coach John Calipari to make sure he was on board; Kentucky committed in the fall.