The 2018-19 college basketball season will begin with a bang thanks to the Kentucky Wildcats taking on the Duke Blue Devils in the Champions Classic.
The annual event will tip off at 7 pm EST with the Michigan State Spartans taking on the Kansas Jayhawks in a battle of preseason top-10 teams.
After that game, Kentucky and Duke will clash with a national audience looking on at around 9:30 PM EST.
On the first night of the 2018-19 college basketball season, we'll be in prime time. pic.twitter.com/N1DKZQrhAi— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) September 6, 2018
The late game is usually when Kentucky plays in this event, as they’re easily the biggest draw in all of college basketball, and they’ll attract as big of an audience as possible for a game that may not begin until around 10 PM, depending on how fast the first game concludes.
It’s also a rare Kentucky vs. Duke match-up for the two best programs in college basketball, not to mention the possible No. 1 and 2 preseason teams.
Kentucky returns an experienced group of sophomores who helped lead the Wildcats to a sweet 16 appearance last season. They also bring in the best offseason haul that any college program had this offseason, including the second-ranked recruiting class and a star graduate transfer in Reid Travis.
On the other side, Duke brought in the ESPN No. 1, 2 and 3 recruits in the Class of 2018 in R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish and Zion Williamson. good for the top-ranked recruiting class.
Depending on what sportsbook you read, these are the two preseason favorites to win it all next season, and they’ll face off on the first day of college hoops.
Game 1 cannot get here fast enough.