UK to play Kansas, Duke and Michigan State next three years

ESPN reported UK will join Kansas, Michigan State and Duke as part of the newly created “Champions Classic” to start the college basketball season the next three years.

Teams will rotate playing each other. UK plays Kansas in 2011 in New York, Duke in 2012 in Atlanta and Michigan State in 2013 in Chicago.

The games will all be played in the middle of November to kick off college basketball season.

UK received a boost from Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo in committing.

ESPN reported that Izzo called UK coach John Calipari to make sure he was on board; Kentucky committed in the fall.

The neutral sites were beneficial to the teams.

“You schedule what’s best for your program and there are a lot of reasons — recruiting, exposure and money,” Kansas head coach Bill Self told ESPN. “Sometimes you can’t play too many road games due to money,” Self said. “It’s hard to go home-and-home with Duke. It’s hard to do that with Kentucky or Michigan State. That’s why this neutral site is a good deal. I don’t think any of the coaches involved will see anything negative with this.”

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