On Tuesday November 17th, the State Farm Champions Classic Tournament will tip off at the United Center in Chicago. For those of you that don't know, the State Farm Champions Classic is an NCAA men's college basketball tournament played by four of the best teams in the nation. The fifth annual State Farm Classic's four participating teams consist of Duke, Kansas, Michigan State and Kentucky. Duke and Kentucky will square off first immediately followed by Kansas vs. Michigan State. Unlike typical tournaments we have become so accustomed to in the NCAA, the winner of the first game does not play the winner of the second game.
Last year’s undefeated Kentucky is ranked number 2 in this 2015-16 preseason. This off season the Kentucky Wildcats recruited six 5 star recruits. Five of the six freshman recruits are guards. Last year the Wildcats made it all the way to the Final Four and are hoping to do the same this year.
The number 4 Kansas Jayhawks are looking to see if they can make it all the way to the Final Four this year just like in 2012. Last year the number 2 Kansas made it to the second round of the March Madness tournament but lost to number 7 Wichita State. Kansas has 4 seniors looking to dominate the court this year. The Jayhawks have recruited 3 players. One of the recruits Lagerald Vick averaged a double double in high school. We’re excited to see if he can do that in college.
Duke University is last years NCAA champions and are ranked number 5 to start the 2015-16 season. Three of the starters from last year were taken in the first round of the NBA draft. Jahlil Okafor was drafted at the 3rd pick by the Philadelphia 76ers. Justise Winslow was taken by the Miami Heat at the 10th pick. Last but not least the point guard Tyus Jones was taken by the Cleveland Cavaliers at the 24th pick. Duke has signed three five star recruits looking to shine on the court. Also, have signed a 4 star recruit and a 3 star recruit. Duke has a tradition of good teams and this season shouldn’t disappoint.
Michigan State is trying to light up this year at the 13th seed. Last year this Big Ten team made it all the way to the Final Four but lost to Duke. This was the 9th time that Michigan State has made it to the Final Four. The Spartans have three 4 star recruits. 3 of the recruits are guards the other position is a power forward.
This State Farm Champions Classic will be a great experience for the players, the coaches. It will bring us fans early clarity into the forces of this season. Get excited, it’ll be a good one.