PRESS RELEASE

State Farm Champions Classic is Here to Stay: the College Basketball Tip-Off Event Renewed for Three More Years

The State Farm Champions Classic – a neutral site doubleheader featuring Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State – has been renewed through 2022. The early-season event heads to Chicago (2020), New York City (2021) and Indianapolis (2022) at United Center, Madison Square Garden and Bankers Life Fieldhouse, respectively. The inaugural game was held at Madison Square Garden in 2011 followed by the Georgia Dome in 2012.

“We are excited to continue with this marquee event, as it has become a fixture on the college basketball landscape,” said Pete Derzis, ESPN senior vice president of college sports programming and events.” The credit goes to these four outstanding programs for coming together annually to launch the season.”

This year’s Classic will feature No. 10 Michigan State facing No. 1 Kansas, and No. 4 Duke facing No. 2 Kentucky on college basketball’s opening night from Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Tuesday, Nov. 6 (7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m., ESPN). The event returns to Madison Square Garden in 2019.

 

Future Champions Classic Matchups

2019 (New York City)

Kansas vs. Duke

Michigan State vs. Kentucky

2020 (Chicago)

Michigan State vs. Duke

Kansas vs. Kentucky

2021 (New York City)

Kansas vs. Michigan State

Kentucky vs. Duke

2022 (Indianapolis)

Kentucky vs. Michigan State

Duke vs. Kansas

History

  • Millions of fans have tuned into the Champions Classicover the last seven years. The 2017 matchups delivered the event’s second highest viewership ever, behind the 2013 Classic.
  • A combined 18 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship (since 1939): Kentucky (eight), Duke (five), Kansas (three) and Michigan State (two).
  • A total of 56 NCAA Final Four appearances (since 1939): Kentucky (17), Duke (16), Kansas (14) and Michigan State (9).
  • Since the Champions Classicbegan in 2011, all four teams have reached the NCAA Final Four at least once, with Kentucky and Duke winning national titles, in 2012 and 2015 respectively.
  • Over the last 14 games of the Classic, there have been 13 top-25 matchups and eight top 10 matchups, including two games featuring No. 1 vs. No. 2 (according to the AP poll).
  • Four Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame coaches in Calipari, Izzo, Krzyzewski and Self
  • To date, the event has taken place in four cities: Atlanta, Chicago, Indianapolis and New York.

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Media contact: [email protected]


ESPN Events ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 31 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 10 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans. ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program. Collegiate Football Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Tampa, Fla.); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Frisco Bowl (Texas); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl (Nassau);  MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Atlanta); Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada);   New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); SERVOPRO First Responder Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth);  The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta) Collegiate Basketball AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Fort Bliss, Texas); Charleston Classic (South Carolina); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic Presented by Corona (South Bend, Ind.); Myrtle Beach Invitational (Conway, S.C.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); State Farm Champions Classic (Indianapolis) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.) Collegiate Softball St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational (Clearwater, Fla.) For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.