Champions Classic 2013: Top Storylines to Watch in Chicago

Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIINovember 11, 2013

LAWRENCE, KS - NOVEMBER 08:  Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Kansas Jayhawks drives during the game against the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks at Allen Fieldhouse on November 8, 2013 in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

On Tuesday, Nov. 12, the college basketball season will reach its most critical day yet. The Champions Classic will feature the No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats, No. 2 Michigan State Spartans, No. 4 Duke Blue Devils and No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks.

The question is, what should you be watching for when four of the top five teams in the country square off?

The Champions Classic Schedule
DateTime (ET)Road TeamHome Team
Tuesday, Nov. 127:30 p.m.Michigan StateKentucky
Tuesday, Nov. 129:30 p.m.KansasDuke
Games to be played in Chicago, Illinois


Jabari Parker vs. Andrew Wiggins

If there was only one reason to watch these games, it'd be the clash between Jabari Parker of Duke and Andrew Wiggins of Kansas. The top two high school players in the nation are now stars at two of the most storied programs in college basketball history.

By the stroke of the basketball Gods, we'll get to see them square off in Chicago.

Parker and Wiggins have been built as two of the biggest stars in the history of the college basketball recruiting trails. The two stars could be found on magazine covers and in YouTube video packages.

In what is likely to be a preview of a future NBA All-Star Game, these two stars will receive the opportunity to prove their legitimacy against one another.

Parker is more of an interior player with a perimeter game, while Wiggins is an all-around performer who thrives at the 3. Both players will likely be tasked with defending one another, and that creates the potential for the best one-on-one battle of the season.

Regardless of what transpires, this is a game that you need to see. 


Potential Final Four Previews

LEXINGTON, KY - NOVEMBER 01:  Julius Randle #30 of the Kentucky Wildcats dunks the ball during the exhibition game against the Transylvania Pioneers at Rupp Arena on November 1, 2013 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

If you ask an average-to-avid college basketball fan which four teams are in their hypothetical preseason Final Four, you'd likely hear some similar answers. The four teams that are most likely to show up are No. 1 Kentucky, No. 2 Michigan State, No. 4 Duke and No. 5 Kansas.

All four teams will be in action on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

Much could happen between now and March Madness, but the four teams in action are built for success. Michigan State and Duke return star players, while both Kentucky and Kansas feature superstar-caliber recruits.

It doesn't get any better than this.

The battle between Michigan State and Kentucky will feature two teams built in different ways. Michigan State is led by players such as Gary Harris Jr., Branden Dawson and Adreian Payne, while Kentucky is a team filled with freshmen studs.

In the other game, the Blue Devils are led by Parker and experienced players such as Rodney Hood, Quinn Cook and Rasheed Sulaimon. Kansas has freshmen stars in Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Wayne Selden Jr., as well as second-year scorer Andrew White III.

These are four very different teams with similar title aspirations.


Legendary Coaches

DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 08:  Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils yells to his team during their game against the Davidson Wildcats at Cameron Indoor Stadium on November 8, 2013 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

For all that's being made about the star-caliber players involved, the most intriguing aspect of Tuesday's games are the coaches. All four teams have Hall of Fame-caliber leaders along the sidelines, and that promises for an extraordinary display of basketball prowess.

The only question at this point is which coach you trust the most.

No. 1 Kentucky is led by the mercurial John Calipari. Calipari has won one national championship and made four appearances in the Final Four.

Across the court will be the consistently brilliant Tom Izzo of Michigan State. He has one national title, six Final Four appearances and seven Big Ten championships during his decorated career with the Spartans.

Duke is led by the grand master of modern-era college basketball in Mike Krzyzewski. Krzyzewski has four national championships, 11 Final Four berths and a stunning 13 ACC Championships during his time in Durham.

Since taking over at the University of Kansas in 2003, Bill Self has won a national title, made two Final Four appearances and has six Big 12 championship trophies.

Has there ever been a single day with as much coaching prowess in one city?