Izzo anticipates “one of the greatest nights of the season” in matchup with UK

Kevin Erpenbeck

The Champions Classic was created with the thought of delivering a top-tier showdown between blue-blood basketball schools early in the college hoops season.

Six years after its creation, and the event hasn’t disappointed. 

Kentucky’s matchup with Michigan State is expected to be another instant classic, and there’s not a better stage to have such a classic than Madison Square Garden in New York.

Both coaches have been selling the event as a classic as well. In yesterday’s press conference, UK head coach John Calipari said that while every team (including Duke and Kansas) is coming into New York with young teams, it’s games like these that really test the mettle of certain players. 

Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo couldn’t agree more. 

“It will be one of the greatest nights of the season as far as media,” Izzo said. “That is what I am selling it to my kids.

“It’ll be a track meet. I don’t see a lot of half-court game in this game. With Kansas and Duke, and Michigan State and Kentucky, there is not another place that I’d rather be than Madison Square Garden.”

It may be still November, but with matchups like this in places like MSG, it has a hint of an April game to it.