Battle Of The Best: State Farm Champions Classic Men’s Hoops – Preview

State Farm Champions Classic

Tomorrow BSO will be in Chicago for the State Farm Champions Classic men’s hoops basketball tournament. The hottest early season basketball event will feature four of college’s best  programs in the country: Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, and Michigan State. In preparation of the event, I’ve decided to give you a preview of what to expect from the up-coming season.

Battle Of The Best:

This tournament will be a battle of the best, and I’m not talking about Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker.   Duke’s Mike Krykewski and Michigan State’s Tom Izzo are two of the greatest college coaches EVER, and Bill Self and John Calipari, although not on their level yet, are following in their footsteps. Expect all of these coaches to put well-prepared teams on the floor.

Edge: Izzo and Coach K (for obvious reasons)

Toughest Game:

Kentucky vs. Michigan State will be the quintessential contest between youth and experience. The #1 ranked Kentucky Wildcats and their-highly touted freshman class will go up against a #2 ranked Michigan State team that features 3 or 5 upperclassmen starters.

X-Factor: Home Court. Kentucky fans travel, but the game will be held a short 3 hour and 38 minute drive from East Lansing.  So expect the Spartans to be well represented. Can a young Wildcat team handle the crowd AND a great Michigan State team?

Best Match-Up:

This one should’nt be hard to guess. The second game features teams led by the number one and number two incoming freshmen in the country, and believe me, ALL eyes will be on Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker. Both are athletically gifted, offensively talented 6’8″ small forwards. Parker was very impressive in his Duke debut, scoring 22 points with 6 rebounds and 2 assists. Wiggins, although not as impressive, was efficient in his Jayhawk debut with 16 points, 3 steals, and 2 assists. Expect one of these players’ draft stock to go up after this match-up.

Edge: Jabari Parker. I expect Parker, who grew up in Chicago and attended well known Simeon High School, to put on a show in front of his home town crowd.


Michigan State and Tom Izzo teach Kentucky the age-old lesson that experience trumps youth.

Michigan State 77 – Kentucky 73

Coach K shows why he is one of the college basketball gawds, and Parker shows out in Chi-Town.

Duke 79 – Kansas 72