Kentucky Wildcats to continue playing in Champions Classic through 2019

The Champions Classic has become one of the most highly anticipated dates on Kentucky's basketball schedule the last five years.

On Wednesday, it was announced that the event has been extended through the 2019-20 season.

Kentucky, in conjunction with tradition-rich programs Duke, Kansas and Michigan State, will continue the doubleheader series with ESPN as a broadcast partner. The schools have combined for 18 national championships and 57 Final Fours.

The Wildcats will face Michigan State this season on Nov. 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, followed by a matchup with Kansas in 2017 at the United Center in Chicago, a 2018 matchup with Duke at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and a 2019 matchup with Michigan State at Madison Square Garden. 

“We’re excited and honored to be a part of the Champions Classic for another three years,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said via a statement released by UK. “It’s become one of the premier college basketball events on the national schedule every year. You’re talking about four blueblood programs playing on a neutral, NCAA Tournament-like stage. I know our fans love traveling to those cities. It’s always a tough way for a young team like ours to face those types of teams that early, but it’s a great opportunity for us to learn and to prepare for that type of environment down the road."

Last year, Kentucky defeated Duke 74-63 in Chicago. It was the most-viewed game of the 2015-16 college basketball season.

The Cats have a 3-2 record in the event.

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