The Ultimate (not-so-scientific) Champions Classic rankings

9:00 AM ET

The 2017-18 college basketball season started on Friday, but Tuesday’s Champions Classic in Chicago is the year’s first true headliner.

No. 1 Duke vs. No. 2 Michigan State and No. 4 Kansas vs. No. 5 Kentucky at the United Center (Coverage begins at 7 ET on ESPN) is a Final Four-like pairing of four programs with the potential to end the season in April atop the stage in San Antonio. The event will also feature future lottery picks: Michigan State’s Miles Bridges, Kentucky’s Kevin Knox and Duke’s Marvin Bagley III.

It’s the proper kickoff to the college basketball season. But how do you separate four remarkable programs? Well, we’re here to try in our Ultimate Rankings for the Champions Classic.

We’ve ranked the four teams in the Champions Classic according to the following criteria: current talent, legacy, mascot, recruiting, success in the one-and-done era, head coach, staff, fans, home venue, uniforms and NBA alumni.

We’ve used a simple points system to compile our rankings: 1st (four points), 2nd

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