The best up-and-coming basketball players dominated the sport's conversation on social media and national television, and it had nothing to do with next week's NBA draft.
Instead, the basketball world focused on a high school gym in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where, per ESPN, the No. 1-ranked player in the recruiting class of 2021, Chet Holmgren, faced off against the No. 1 player in the class of 2022, Emoni Bates.
Holmgren and Team Sizzle (Minnesota) defeated Ypsilanti Prep (Michigan), 78-71, in the ESPN-broadcasted exhibition that more than lived up to the hype as basketball fans got a look at the next wave of talent.
Bates finished with 36 points and 10 boards on 11-of-22 shooting in the loss while Holmgren poured in 31 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks on 13-of-18 shooting from the field. The 7'0" center also hit two threes in transition for good measure.
According to 247Sports, Holmgren is considering Gonzaga, Michigan and Minnesota with offers from Kansas and North Carolina, among others, in his pocket. Bates, meanwhile, has already committed to Michigan State, much to the delight of head coach Tom Izzo, who couldn't wait to tune in Thursday.
"I am anxious to see the game," Izzo told reporters Wednesday. "I will get to watch it, I got nothing else to do. I'll be sitting here—not that I wouldn't have made time anyway, but it makes it more unique. I'll plan my whole night around it. Maybe I'll have dinner in my office here and watch the game."
The MSU coach wasn't alone in his excitement. It wasn't long before the rest of the basketball world tuned in to the action.
It's unclear when Holmgren will announce his college decision—if he chooses to go that route—but he's certainly holding the basketball world captive until then.