It's the beginning of the basketball season! The Kansas Jayhawks take on the Michigan State Spartans in the Champions Classic tonight, and KU fans everywhere can finally be excited for a team with a chance to win a national title.
Do the Jayhawks get off on the right foot and get a victory tonight? Take a look at what our staff thinks, and then leave your prediction in the comments below!
Kyle_Davis21: This Michigan State team is fascinating. No Aaron Henry, no Joshua Langford, no Rocket Watts, but that last team with them went 15-13. Freshman Max Christie might be the Spartans’ best player, but at Madison Square Garden against No. 3 to open the season is a hell of a place to start your career. One thing to watch: Michigan State went 30-51 from the free-throw line in its two exhibition games. If this game is close, that could be a big factor. I’ll take Kansas to start the season with a win. Kansas 72, Michigan State 67
Mike.Plank: Michigan State looks to be the sixth or maybe fifth-best team in the Big 10 this year, for whatever that’s worth. As Kyle just mentioned, Sparty had some turnover in the offseason, but appears to have a deep roster and will probably have the most talented player on the floor in Max Christie. I doubt MSU is as deep as Kansas is, however. While KU doesn’t seem to have anyone on the roster that screams “NBA” this year, the Jayhawks are a legitimate top-5 team with Final Four aspirations. Despite the absence of Jalen Wilson for this game, I look for KU to make a statement on opening night. Kansas 77, Michigan State 58.
dnoll5: I wonder if they’ll still have these games when Kansas and Michigan State are conference foes? Anyway, we’ll deal with that when the time comes. As for this game, I didn’t watch any of the exhibition, so more than anything, I’m just excited to watch a regular season game that I care about. I barely watched last year as the pandemic took it out of me, but now as arenas are safer because of vaccinations and we’ve seen that attending sports events can be safely done, I’m pumped. Kansas 80, MSU 70.
Andy Mitts: It is usually pretty hard to tell how this first game if the season is going to go, because we haven’t seen any game action except for weird exhibition games, and the Champions Classic matchup is typically a high quality opponent. But this Kansas team is absolutely loaded, and Michigan State is nowhere near as deep. I’m having a hard time seeing how Kansas DOESN’T win this one going away. Kansas 85, Michigan State 71.