September 19, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) The State Farm Champions Classic featuring Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State opens Madison Square Garden's 2016-17 college basketball schedule in November and the NCAA East Regional will help close it in March.

Kentucky faces Michigan State and Duke plays Kansas in the annual doubleheader on Nov. 15.

Two days later, the first round of the 2K Classic Benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project begins with Pittsburgh playing SMU and Marquette facing Michigan. The winners and losers meet the next night.

In addition to six St. John's Big East home games, the Garden will also have Syracuse against Connecticut on Dec. 5; and the Jimmy V Classic with Purdue against Arizona State and Florida against Duke on Dec. 6.

The Big East Tournament will be held at the Garden for a 35th consecutive season. The East Regional will decide one of the Final Four teams and the schedule ends March 30 with the championship game of the 80th NIT.

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