It was a cold winter’s night 80 years ago at Madison Square Garden on 50th Street and Eighth Avenue when College Basketball took to the Garden hardwood for the first time. Since that first game on December 29, 1934, the memories have been countless for millions of college basketball fans as they have packed “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” from the Old Garden to the current transformed arena. Coming off a year which saw the return of the NCAA Tournament after a 53 year absence, College Basketball comes back to the Garden for another exciting season that will create memories for years to come.
Madison Square Garden. Photo by: Stacy Podelski
The 2014 – 2015 Madison Square Garden college basketball season Presented by Advance Auto Parts is packed with top national programs including Syracuse, Villanova, Louisville and Duke, and will feature classic matchups, local rivalries and home team favorites. Additionally, the 80th anniversary season will include marquee tournaments including the 2K Sports Classic, National Invitation Tournament (NIT) Season Tip-Off, Jimmy V Classic, Gotham Classic, St. John’s University Red Storm and of course the BIG EAST Tournament.
Madison Square Garden will also celebrate the 40th anniversary of Women’s Basketball at The Garden when Queens College takes on Immaculata, the two teams that started it all in 1975, in the annual Maggie Dixon Classic Presented by Advance Auto Parts on Sunday, January 4. Following the celebratory matchup, St. John’s will square off against defending NCAA national champion, UConn, for the featured game.
“Since the first game at the Old Garden in 1934, to the return of the NCAA Tournament last season, Madison Square Garden has become the top destination for college basketball programs, both locally and nationally,” said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, MSG Sports. “As we celebrate the 80th anniversary of college basketball at Madison Square Garden we welcome another great slate of matchups.”
As the “Presenting Partner of College Hoops” at The Garden, Advance Auto Parts will receive brand exposure inside the arena during a select lineup of premier college basketball tournaments and games. The company will serve as the Presenting Partner of the Holiday Festival and Maggie Dixon Classic and will have branding opportunities at the NIT, Jimmy V Classic, 2K Classic, Gotham Classic and all St. John’s games. In addition, Advance Auto Parts will have the opportunity to engage fans with on-court and digital promotions.
Additionally, a number of industry leading companies will partner with MSG Sports for the 80th anniversary season of College Basketball at Madison Square Garden. Coca-Cola Zero, Delta Air Lines, Kia Motors, UPS and The Rock will all receive promotion via MSG’s unique array of assets, including digital courtside signage, branding on the multimedia displays, GardenVision and other promotions.
The season kicks off with the nationally televised 2K Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project. The semifinal matchups, which take place on November 20, will feature Texas vs. Iowa followed by Syracuse v. California. All four teams will return to the court November 21 for the consolation and championship games.
For the first time in the 30-year history of the NIT Season Tip-Off, eight teams will play at Madison Square Garden on three consecutive nights. Georgia, Gonzaga, Minnesota and St. John’s will play in the NIT Season Tip-Off semifinals on November 26 while LIU Brooklyn, Saint Joseph’s, Stony Brook and Western Kentucky each play as part of a Thanksgiving doubleheader on November 27. The championship and third-place games will be played November 28.
On Tuesday, December 9, the Jimmy V Classic returns to Madison Square Garden featuring matchups of storied programs – Illinois Fighting Illini and the Villanova Wildcats in game 1 followed by Indiana Hoosiers and theLouisville Cardinals. All four teams appeared in the 2014 NCAA Tournament and will come together for a second time to raise funds for The V Foundation for Cancer Research.
The annual Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival Presented by Advance Auto Parts is back for another classic matchup on Saturday, December 14, teaming up local rivals. The Holiday Festival is the longest-running in-season college basketball event and will feature favorites St. John’s and Fordham University in the marquee game with Rutgers University taking on Manhattan in game one.
The Gotham Classic is back at Madison Square Garden and will feature Pepperdine vs. Richmond in game one, followed by West Virginia and North Carolina State on Saturday, December 20.
One week later, Indiana will face Georgetown in a neutral site national matchup on Saturday, December 27.
In its 31th consecutive season, the 2015 BIG EAST Tournament Presented by New York Life returns to The Garden Wednesday, March 11 through Saturday, March 14.
The 2015 Postseason NIT returns to The Garden for its 78th season on Tuesday, March 31st with the semifinals and the Championship set forThursday, April 1.
2014-2015 COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
2K CLASSIC BENEFITING WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT
Thursday, November 20 Texas vs. Iowa ESPN2 7:00pm
Syracuse vs. California ESPN2 9:00pm
Friday, November 21 Consolation Game ESPN 2 or ESPNU 5:00pm
Championship Game ESPN2 7:30pm
NIT SEASON TIP-OFF
Wednesday, November 26 Semi-Final Doubleheader
St. John’s vs. Minnesota ESPNU 7:00pm
Gonzaga vs. Georgia ESPN2 9:30pm
Thursday, November 27 LIU-Brooklyn vs. Stony Brook ESPNU 4:00pm
Western Kentucky vs. Saint Joseph’s ESPNU 6:00pm
Friday, November 28 Consolation Game ESPNU 4:30pm
Championship Game ESPN2 7:00pm
JIMMY V CLASSIC
Tuesday, December 9 Villanova vs. Illinois ESPN 7:00pm
Indiana vs. Louisville ESPN 9:00pm
MSG HOLIDAY FESTIVAL Presented by Advance Auto Parts
Sunday, December 14 Manhattan vs. Rutgers TBD 12:00pm
St. John’s vs. Fordham
Saturday, December 20 Pepperdine vs. Richmond ESPN3 7:00pm
West Virginia vs. NC State ESPN2 9:30pm
INDIANA VS. GEORGETOWN
Saturday, December 27 Indiana vs. Georgetown TBD 12:00PM
MAGGIE DIXON CLASSIC Presented by Advance Auto Parts
Sunday, January 4 Women’s Doubleheader
Queens College vs. Immaculata University 10:30am
St. John’s vs. Connecticut ESPN2 1:00pm
- JOHN’S RED STORM
Tuesday, January 6 Villanova FOX SPORTS 1 9:00pm
Wednesday, January 21 Marquette FOX SPORTS 1 7:00pm
Sunday, January 25 Duke FOX 2:00pm
Saturday, January 31 Providence FOX 12:00pm
Saturday, February 7 Creighton FSN-L 12:00pm
Monday, February 23 Xavier FOX SPORTS 1 8:00pm
Saturday, February 28 Georgetown CBS 12:00pm
BIG EAST Tournament Presented by New York Life
Wednesday, March 11 – Saturday, March 14
78th ANNUAL NIT
Tuesday, March 31 Semifinal Doubleheader
Thursday, April 2 Championship Game
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