The friendly banter between Kentucky’s John Calipari and Michigan State’s Tom Izzo has continued as their matchup tomorrow night draws nearer. Kentucky, ranked No. 1 in the nation, and Michigan State, ranked No. 2, will face each other in Tuesday’s Champions Classic game at the United Center in Chicago. Despite the seriousness and intensity that this game will have, the two coaches have been able to share some laughs.
After Kentucky’s 93-63 win over Northern Kentucky on Sunday, Calipari told reporters that he texted Izzo, “I officially forfeit the game so you can go to Chicago and shop. We’re not very good right now.” Calipari noted that Izzo, who Calipari called “a good friend of mine”, called him back and they laughed about their conversation.
On a more serious note, Calipari did say that tomorrow’s game between Kentucky and Michigan State is unfair for his team. He argued that it’s unfair for his young Wildcats to have to play an experienced team such as the Spartans so early in the season. It’s also a bit of a large and overwhelming venue for the Kentucky team that consists almost entirely of freshmen and sophomores to play in.
Kentucky freshman guard Andrew Harrison said, “They are a great team. Coach doesn’t think we are ready, but we are just going to play hard and see who has it in them and who doesn’t.” Coaches and players from both teams seem to have great respect for each other and the showdown should certainly be a good one.
The Champions Classic between Kentucky and Michigan State will be tomorrow, November 12, at 7:30 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on television on ESPN and UK IMG will have the radio broadcast.