Champions Classic 2012: Teams, Schedule, Live Stream, TV Info

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor INovember 12, 2012

Tuesday's marathon of college basketball—24 hours straight, in fact—is sure to delight even the most common basketball fan. But if you have to be picky and can't sit on your couch for an entire day, look no further than Atlanta, Ga., and the Champions Classic. 

It only features four of the most recognizable programs in the country: No. 21 Michigan State, No. 7 Kansas, No. 9 Duke and No. 3 Kentucky.

It only features some of the most talented players and most intriguing young freshmen across the nation. 

It only features four of the most successful head coaches in the country: Tom Izzo, Bill Self, Mike Krzyzewski and John Calipari.

It's only the same tournament that last year featured a preview of the national championship: Kentucky vs. Kansas. 

It's only being played in the Georgia Dome, where this year's Final Four will be played. 

But, you know, other than all that, this epic tournament really doesn't have much going for it. Still, if you feel like torturing yourself with four hours of some of the best basketball you'll see all year, here's a look at when and where to catch the action. 


Game 1: (21) Michigan State vs. (7) Kansas

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Ga.

Watch: ESPN

Live Stream: WatchESPN


Matchup to Watch: Keith Appling vs. Elijah Johnson

Two electric, veteran point guards. One is being relied upon to step up in Draymond Green's absence while the other is trying to fill in for the departed Thomas Robinson. 

No pressure or anything.

In Michigan State's opening day upset at the hands of Connecticut, Appling struggled a bit with the quickness of the Husky backcourt, but still managed 17 points—albeit on an ineffective 17 shots—to go along with four assists and just one turnover. 

Kansas, meanwhile, had an easier opener against Southeast Missouri State. The Jayhawks got the win, but Johnson, plagued by constant foul trouble, finished with just four points and one assist in 22 minutes.

Both squads got huge contributions from guys who were slight question marks entering the season.

Branden Dawson did his best Adrian Peterson impression with 15 points (mostly in attack fashion), 10 rebounds and five steals just eight months after tearing his ACL.

Over in Lawrence, dynamite freshmen Ben McLemore lived up to expectations with a nine-point, 12-rebound, five-assist, one-steal, three-block gem in his first collegiate game. 

Still though, both teams will need more dependable play from their floor generals in this one. 


Game 2: (9) Duke vs. (3) Kentucky

When: 9:30 p.m. ET (depends on when the first game ends)

Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Ga.

Watch: ESPN

Live Stream: WatchESPN


Matchup to Watch: Archie Goodwin vs. Rasheed Sulaimon

Everyone likes a feel-good story, and that's why all of the attention after Kentucky's narrow win over Maryland was on walk-on junior Jarrod Polson, who filled in admirably for the ineffective and flu-ridden Ryan Harrow.

But don't forget about freshman Archie Goodwin.

The explosive youngster only shot 3-of-8 from the field and didn't contribute many secondary stats, but he clearly has quickly earned Coach Cal's trust. He played a ridiculous 37 minutes and was absolutely unstoppable getting to the hoop, racking up 11 free throws en route to a 16-point effort. 

Matching up against Goodwin could very well be Duke's own fabulous freshman, Rasheed Sulaimon.

The 6'4", 185-pounder sometimes loses focus on the defensive side of the ball, but he has the energy, length and athleticism to give Goodwin fits. 

Much like the rest of the action that will be going on in Georgia on Tuesday night, this one-on-one battle has the makings to be an instant classic. 



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