Kansas/Michigan State Will Tip Off 2013 Season On ESPN

LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 27: Head coach Bill Self of the Kansas Jayhawks holds the ball after it went out-of-bounds during the team's 87-79 victory over the Arizona Wildcats in the championship game of the Las Vegas Invitational at The Orleans Arena November 27 2010 in Las Vegas Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Jayhawks will open a new season with a primetime showdown against one of the elite programs in college basketball.

After losing to Kentucky in the 2012 national title game, Kansas will play Michigan State in the undercard of ESPN's 24-hour tip-off to the 2012-2013 college basketball season.

The Champions Classic double-header, which will have the feel of a neutral-site NCAA Tournament regional, will have the Jayhawks facing off against the Spartans before a night-cap between Kentucky and Duke.

It's another opportunity for Bill Self's program to be showcased on the national stage, which is always a plus when it comes to recruiting, huge for a Kansas program that has to recruit elite talent nationwide.

Michigan State will provide a formidable test, even after the departure of Big Ten Player of the Year Draymond Green. Tom Izzo's teams are always stout defensively, and he'll have a long and athletic front-court in Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix which will test the Jayhawks, especially without Thomas Robinson or big man coach Danny Manning, who took the head coaching job at Tulsa.

For more coverage of Kansas basketball, check out Rock Chalk Talk.

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