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Champions Classic 2021: Here’s who’s playing, how to watch

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Highly-touted freshman Paolo Banchero and No. 9 Duke will face No. 10 Kentucky at the 2021 Champions Classic.
USA Today

The start of the 2021-22 college basketball season is less than 24 hours away.

There is a huge slate of games on the docket for the opening day of the season Tuesday, but the headliner event will be at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Here is everything you need to know about the 2021 Champions Classic:

When is the 2021 Champions Classic?

The Champions Classic takes place Tuesday night starting at 7 p.m. ET.

Who is playing in the 2021 Champions Classic?

The first of two games at the World’s Most Famous Arena pits Michigan State up against No. 3 Kansas.

The Jayhawks are returning four of five starters from last season, when they were upset in the second round of the NCAA tournament as a No. 3 seed. Kansas also picked up super-senior guard Remy Martin, who led the Pac-12 in scoring with Arizona State last season, through the transfer portal. 

Meanwhile, Tom Izzo’s Spartans enter a season unranked for the first time since 2011-12. After failing to make it out of the First Four of the 2021 NCAA tournament, Michigan State will have five-star freshman guard Max Christie to aid its bounce-back efforts.

 

RELATED: What you need to know about the 2021-22 college basketball season

Following Kansas-Michigan State, Mike Krzyzewski and John Calipari will go head-to-head for possibly the final time as No. 9 Duke battles No. 10 Kentucky at 9:30 p.m. ET. Krzyzewski, the winningest coach in Division I men’s college basketball history, is retiring after this season.

The heavyweight showdown between the two blue blood programs will feature a combined five five-star recruits from the 2021 class. The best of the bunch is Duke power forward Paolo Banchero, who is one of the early favorites to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Banchero is joined by small forward A.J. Griffin and shooting guard Trevor Keels as the Blue Devils’ big-time freshmen.

The other two highly-touted freshmen come from the Wildcats, with point guard TyTy Washington and power forward Daimion Collins set to make their collegiate debuts against Duke.

What TV channel is the 2021 Champions Classic on?

The Champions Classic will be broadcast on ESPN.

How can I stream the 2021 Champions Classic online?

You can stream the event live online here or on the ESPN app.

What are the 2021 Champions Classic betting odds?

Kansas is a 4.5-point favorite over Michigan State, while Duke is favored by one point over Kentucky, according to our partner, PointsBet.

Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.