The Champions Classic is the unofficial tip-off of the college basketball season, with four of the most historic programs -- guided by four Hall of Fame coaches -- being represented in one evening. The event has produced almost an entire NBA draft's worth of prospects since its inception in 2011, with 52 players hearing their name called in six years, including 38 first-rounders and 25 lottery picks.
That's a good explanation for why all 30 NBA teams (about 80 representatives in total, according to event media coordinator Charley Green) will be present at the United Center in Chicago, as it allows decision-makers to see a significant portion of the prospects who will make up the upcoming draft, in an NBA arena versus some of the best competition they'll face all season. It's also a great opportunity for casual fans to get to know some of the names and faces who will play a big part of the way the 2017-18 college basketball season will unfold. For NBA die-hards looking to get a glimpse at a large number of players who might be donning their favorite teams' jerseys down the road, this is an even better event to tune into than the NCAA Final Four.
To help prepare you for the double-header, and get a better feel for whom to hone in on, we prepared the following chart that can serve as a cheat sheet for the event. We also break down the five biggest things to watch in each matchup, with nine top-30 prospects on display: