The renewal of the State Farm Champions Classic is not just great news for the Kentucky Wildcats and their fans but great news for Calipari and his recruiting of elite athletes.
During the first half of the college basketball season, there are very few games in the Kentucky schedule that give the team some quality competition. The Champions Classic has changed this. It gives Kentucky the chance to take on elite teams and historic programs in Duke, Kansas, and Michigan State. Between the Classic and whatever teams Kentucky plays in an early season tournament, it gives the Cats a chance to play potential NCAA tournament teams prior to playing North Carolina and Louisville.
In 2011, Kentucky took on Kansas in the second game of the double-header. This turned out to be the prelude to the title game, in which the Cats took on the Jayhawks for the second time in less than six months.
“We are excited to continue and be a part of this season-opening event,” John Calipari, UK head coach. “The Champions Classic does a couple of things for our schedule. One, it allows us to play an early-season marquee game at a neutral site, which is important for our team to play in before the NCAA Tournament. Secondly, when you talk about Duke, Kansas, Michigan State and Kentucky, you’re talking about four of the best programs in our sport. So it’s a great event for our fans. We’re happy we could renew it for three more years.”
Moreover the fact that the 2011 game is in Indianapolis means that Kentucky fans will dominate the arena with Kentucky blue.