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Kentucky Wildcats vs Duke Blue Devils moved up to begin 2018-19 college basketball season

Next season will begin early, and it will feature Kentucky vs Duke in the Champions Classic.


The 2018-19 college season will be starting sooner than usual, which means we’ll get to see the Kentucky Wildcats take on Duke in early November.

On Wednesday, UK announced that the annual State Farm Champions Classic will tip off the 2018-19 season college hoops season.

The event, which features Kentucky, Duke, Kansas and Michigan State in Indianapolis, will move up a week next season to Nov. 6, coinciding with the new start of the college basketball season.

”The Champions Classic has been the gold standard for college basketball’s regular-season events for the last seven years, but I love what we’re doing to use it to tip off the basketball season,” said John Calipari in a press release. “What better thing for our sport than to begin the year with four of the most successful programs in college basketball. Now, it might not be the best thing for my team, but the good news is we’ll all be learning about our teams at the same time while taking this thing to the next level. I know our fans will turn Indianapolis blue next fall.”

The 2018 Champions Classic, which will continue to be a neutral-site doubleheader, will feature UK vs. Duke and Michigan State vs. Kansas. Indianapolis’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse will serve as the host arena.

”We feel that there is natural connection to the start of the season and to the State Farm Champions Classic,” Clint Overby, vice president of ESPN Events, said in a release. “These four schools have come together to help build an exciting stage to launch the college basketball season.”

The four schools feature a combined 18 NCAA national titles (Kentucky [eight], Duke [five], Kansas [three] and Michigan State [two]) and a total of 56 NCAA Final Four appearances (Kentucky [17], Duke [16], Kansas [14] and Michigan State [nine]).

The Wildcats lead the all-time series vs. Duke 12-9.