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Champions Classic could kick off next basketball season, sources say

CHICAGO -- The Champions Classic could wind up tipping off college basketball next season, multiple sources said.

The four-team event began in 2011 and features a doubleheader, round-robin between Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and Michigan State. It's held four days after the season officially starts.

The Division I Men's Basketball Oversight Committee has discussed a new start date for the sport, centered on making the Tuesday before the second Friday in November the season's uniform start date. That would alleviate going up against college football in the first couple days of the basketball campaign. The season has begun on that Friday in recent years.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and Michigan State's Tom Izzo, following their game on Tuesday night, said they would be in favor of playing the event to blow out the start of college basketball's regular season.

"I wish, hopefully they change the start of the season to start on Tuesday, that this will be one of the things that kicks it off, events like this where we can kick off college basketball," Krzyzewski said. "This is a big-time night here."

Added Izzo: "I don't think there's any question. Do I think it would be good for college basketball? This event has been as good as any event I've ever been in.

"I hate to say it but it matches the Final Four and then some because very seldom do you get the number of ranked teams that ... even in the Final Four you don't get teams ranked 1,2,3,4. It's been that way year in and year out."

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sportsespncbbkansas jayhawksduke blue devilsmichigan state spartanskentucky wildcatsmens college basketballchampions classic
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