This morning ESPN's Andy Katz reported that ESPN has found a solution for college basketball's lack of a marquee starting event. All it took was some big names, some even bigger neutral site arenas and some good marketing.
The Champions Classic will come to Chicago (eventually)
It's all going to come together, be called the Champions Classic and give the sport of college basketball the opening night it deserves.
How did they do it? By getting four schools with national prestige - Kansas, Michigan State, Kentucky and Duke - to agree to play for one night in mid-November each of the next three seasons.
The event will be played in three different locations over the next three seasons, including Chicago in 2013. The first event in this instant "classic" will be on Nov. 15, 2011 at Madison Square Garden. Then it'll head to the Georgia Dome in 2012 and the United Center here in the Windy City in 2013. By then it might actually be a classic, considering the potential for some great games early in the season.
Congratulations to these four programs for putting such an event together. Also, thank you to Bill Self, Tom Izzo, John Calipari and Mike Krzyzewski for being confident enough to schedule high-quality opponents right off the bat.
This is something college basketball desperately needed.