ESPN’s State Farm Champions Classic Men’s Basketball Doubleheader Renews through 2019
Marquee event pits four of the nation’s best – Duke, Kansas, Kentucky & Michigan State Returns to Chicago, Indianapolis & New York City
The State Farm Champions Classic – an early-season neutral-site doubleheader featuring Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State – will continue through the 2019 season. The doubleheader, which began in 2011, will be played in Chicago (2017), Indianapolis (2018) and New York City (2019). The marquee matchups 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 season.
“We are pleased to extend the Champions Classic for a new three-year term into the 2019 college basketball season,” said Pete Derzis, senior vice president, ESPN Events. “This marquee event will continue to showcase four teams that represent the very best of college basketball and its rich history.”
This year’s sixth annual State Farm Champions Classic will be played on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016, from Madison Square Garden in New York City featuring Kentucky vs. Michigan State (7 p.m.) and Duke vs. Kansas (9:30 p.m.). Tickets will go on sale in October, information to be announced at a later date.
Future Champions Classic Matchups
Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 (United Center, Chicago)
Kansas vs. Kentucky
Duke vs. Michigan State
Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018 (Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis)
Michigan State vs. Kansas
Duke vs. Kentucky
Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019 (Madison Square Garden, New York City)
Kansas vs. Duke
Michigan State vs. Kentucky
Overall record in the Champions Classic: Duke 3-2, Kentucky 3-2, Michigan State 3-2 and Kansas 1-4.
Three of the top four all-time winningest men’s college basketball programs: Kentucky (first – 2,205), Kansas (second – 2,186) and Duke (fourth – 2,087).
A combined 18 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships (since 1939): Kentucky (eight), Duke (five), Kansas (three) and Michigan State (two).
A total of 57 NCAA Final Four appearances (since 1939): Kentucky (17), Duke (16), Kansas (14) and Michigan State (10).
A total of 31 players that participated in the Champions Classic were taken in the first round of the NBA Draft: 2012 (7), 2013 (4), 2014 (8), 2015 (8) and 2016 (4) from Kentucky (14), Duke (9), Kansas (5) and Michigan State (3).
Each year’s viewership has averaged 2.5 million viewers.
The Michigan State vs. Kentucky game as part of the 2013 event was the most-watched Champions Classic with 4,002,020 viewers.
The 2015 Kentucky vs. Duke game was the highest-rated matchup of the 2015-16 regular season with a 2.0 household rating.
ESPN Events ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 35 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games, the FCS opening-weekend game, 16 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events, a college softball event, an esports event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 375-plus hours of live programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Atlanta, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Frisco, Honolulu, Houston, Las Vegas, Montgomery and Tampa, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.
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