College basketball's first marquee matchup of heavyweights in the 2021-22 season will happen Tuesday at 7 p.m. at New York's famed Madison Square Garden when No. 3 Kansas meets unranked Michigan State in the first game of the annual Champions Classic doubleheader. The two teams sit at 7-7 in the all-time series entering this season's opener, the two coaches are 4-4 against one another and, as fate would have it, KU is favored by only a few points over its unranked foe indicating a close matchup across the board is on deck.
Kansas has won the last two games and three of the last four in the series with a win in the Champions Classic and another in the NCAA Tournament to show for it. As a slight favorite, it has a chance to extend its winning streak to three -- which would tie for the longest winning streak of any coach in the history of the two -- and can improve to 6-5 in Champions Classic games since the event's inception a decade.
The Jayhawks will be without leading rebounder Jalen Wilson in the game as he serves a suspension, though, which could open the door for a Spartans team that is flying under the radar entering the season. Still yet, most of our team likes KU in this one. Our picks straight up and against the spread are below.
How to watch Kansas vs. Michigan State live
Date: Tuesday, November 9 | Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Madison Square Garden -- New York
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Kansas vs. Michigan State prediction, picks
The absence of Jalen Wilson here looms large for Kansas and makes me feel just frisky enough to pick the upset. Michigan State I think will come out looking to prove something after opening the season unranked and with a new cast of characters that includes Max Christie and Tyson Walker in addition to the return of Gabe Brown and Joey Hauser. Prediction: Michigan State 71, Kansas 69 -- Kyle Boone
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