When the No. 1 ranked Kentucky Wildcats take on the No. 2 ranked Michigan State Spartans in the first game of the State Farm Champions Classic in Chicago, IL, it will mark the first time in five seasons that 1 has met 2 and the earliest we’ve ever seen a top match up.
It does seem like this would happen more often in basketball, but with the NCAA Tournament setup, it’s actually pretty rare for this to occur. There’s nothing quite like watching the top “best” teams in the country go at it to really get into the basketball season.
For a little reference, here’s a little history via ESPN.com
No. 1 seeds hold a 21-17 advantage in the meetings of top teams with the No. 2 teams having won three of the last four. The Wildcats have a 5-2 record in these games with the most recent being an 81-74 victory over John Calipari’s top-ranked UMass team in the 1996 Final Four.
And just think, the 4 vs 5 match up happens right afterwards, in the double header that also features the No. 4 Dukies and No. 5 Jayhawks.
Kentucky, Michigan State, Duke and Kansas. Not really my teams but sounds like a fantastic Final Four weekend. Yup, I’m ready to get into the basketball season for real now.