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Kentucky vs. Kansas 2017 live stream: Start time, TV schedule, and how to watch Champions Classic online

Kansas and Kentucky will meet on Tuesday for the annual State Farm Champions Classic.

Kansas v Villanova Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The State Farm Champions Classic will host four of the nation’s best college basketball programs on Tuesday night. Following the marquee matchup between No. 2 Michigan State and No. 1 Duke, the No. 4 Kansas Jayhawks will face the No. 7 Kentucky Wildcats. Coverage will be on ESPN (live stream) and will begin at 9:30 p.m. ET at the United Center in Chicago.

Both the Jayhawks and the Wildcats have undergone a rebuilding phase. For Kansas, the loss of Josh Jackson and Frank Mason III requires the Jayhawks to be led by senior Devonte Graham. While Graham may be able to cover Kansas’ backcourt, the Jayhawks are also experiencing the loss of Perry Ellis and Landen Lucas down low.

The last time Kansas faced Kentucky, Jackson and Mason led the Jayhawks past the Wildcats combining for 41 points. Now Kansas will need to find other players who are capable of executing offensively in order to pull off a win on Tuesday.

Kentucky is also preparing for a dynamic season as it continues to start five freshmen. While the Wildcats may be loaded with talent, they are lacking in experience. Their youth has been exposed in their first two games as they only beat Utah Valley by 10 Friday and Vermont by four on Sunday. However, the Wildcats have no time to dwell on their season’s start as they face their toughest challenge yet on Tuesday.

Time, TV channel, and streaming info:

  • Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: United Center, Chicago
  • TV: ESPN
  • Streaming: Watch ESPN
  • Odds: Kansas is favored by 3.5

Kansas vs. Kentucky news:

If Kentucky’s going to beat any of their good opponents (not just Kansas, but in this instance — Kansas), they’ve got to defend the 3-point shot better. Their poor shot defense was the backbone of Vermont’s comeback and Kansas will ether them if they let them get open shots.

The three point defense needs to get better and fast. The Kansas Jayhawks have a great backcourt that will be able to abuse the lack of defense beyond the arch.

This team has a high basketball IQ and they are more potent on offense than I thought. Kevin Knox and Diallo are the guys that are going to lead this team on offense: but don’t count out Quade Green in that regard. Green has a scorer's mentality but he defers to the past first.

These are the top-two winningest programs in NCAA Division I college basketball with Kentucky first at 2,239 wins and Kansas second at 2,218 victories.

The blue-blood programs have also combined for 31 Final Fours with Kentucky at 17 and Kansas at 14.

Although UK has a 2-0 record vs. Kansas in the Champions Classic, the Jayhawks have won the last two meetings overall, having defeated Kentucky in back-to-back seasons in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

Kansas vs. Kentucky prediction:

It isn't quite fair to ever refer to the Kentucky Wildcats as the underdog; however, on Tuesday, that’s what they will be. The lack of veteran leadership on this young Wildcats team will not be any help against an experienced and talented Kansas team. Therefore, I believe Kansas will take the win.