The Villanova Wildcats, the defending NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions, will visit Madison Square Garden at least three times this season highlighting an exciting college basketball slate at The World’s Most Famous Arena. The 2018 – 2019 season will also feature projected Top 25 teams Kentucky, Duke, Oregon, Maryland, West Virginia and Syracuse.
The Madison Square Garden college basketball schedule, presented by Advance Auto Parts, will also feature marquee events including the annual 2K Empire Classic, Jimmy V Classic, Citi Hoops Classic and Ameritas Insurance Classic.
Once again, the season will tip-off with the annual 2K Empire Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project. The semifinal matchups, which take place on Thursday, November 15th, will feature UConn vs. Syracuse, followed by Iowa vs. Oregon. All four teams will return on Friday, November 16th for the consolation and championship games. The Orange and Huskies will meet for the 95th time dating back to 1956, with Syracuse owning a 56-38 series advantage.
The Jimmy V Classic returns to The Garden for the 16th consecutive year on Tuesday, December 4th, and will feature a national doubleheader pitting Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma, who will meet for the first time, and West Virginia vs. Florida.
The Jimmy V Classic will be part of the 12th annual V Week for Cancer Research to help raise funds for cancer research.
The Citi Hoops Classic returns for the second year when John Calipari’s storied Kentucky Wildcats battle Seton Hall on December 8th.
The Ameritas Insurance Classic takes place on Thursday, December 20th when perennial powerhouse Duke, and its top recruiting class, face off against Texas Tech. Coach Krzyzewski holds an impressive 29-11 record at Madison Square Garden including the record breaking 903rd victory on November 16, 2011 and his 1000th win on January 25, 2015.
Head coach Jay Wright brings his defending National Champions, the Villanova Wildcats, into Madison Square Garden to face old Big East rivals UConn and new head coach Dan Hurley on Saturday, December 22nd.
The annual Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival Presented by Advance Auto Parts is back in action on Sunday, December 9th showcasing local programs. The Holiday Festival is the longest-running holiday season college basketball event in the country and will feature Columbia and Iona in game one followed by a St. John’s / Princeton tilt.
For the fourth year, the Big Ten Super Saturday starts on the hardwood in the afternoon with a changeover to hockey that evening. The unique doubleheader on Saturday, January 26, 2019 will feature Maryland vs. Illinois in basketball followed by Penn State vs. Michigan in hockey.
The Big East Tournament, which has provided many of The Garden’s most memorable college basketball moments, takes over The Garden from Wednesday, March 13th through Saturday, March 16th. This will mark the 37th time the season ending conference championship will take place at Madison Square Garden. The event is college basketball’s longest running postseason conference tournament held at the same venue.
St. John’s will call The Garden home again for the 2018-19 season, with their first game at MSG against conference rival Georgetown on Saturday, January 27th. This will be the second-time old Big East rivals, Chris Mullin and New York Knicks great Patrick Ewing meet as head coaches of their respective alma maters at Madison Square Garden. The Red Storm will later face Providence on Saturday, February 9th, Villanova on Saturday, February 17th and Seton Hall on Saturday, February 23rd.
The 82nd Annual Postseason NIT concludes The Garden’s 2018-19 college basketball slate with the semifinals on Tuesday, April 2nd and the Championship set for Thursday, April 4th.
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 will have branding opportunities at the NIT, Jimmy V Classic, 2K Classic, Big Ten Super Saturday and all St. John’s games. In addition, Advance Auto Parts will have the opportunity to engage fans with on-court and digital promotions.
A number of industry leading companies will partner with MSG Sports for the college basketball season, including: Anheuser-Busch, Under Armour and Kia Motors. All will receive promotion via MSG’s unique array of assets, including digital courtside signage, branding on the multimedia displays, GardenVision and other promotions.
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