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Villanova v. Virginia to tip off in Holiday Hoops Classic presented by Bud Light Seltzer at Madison Square Garden on 12/19

Madison Square Garden. Photo by: Stacy Podelski

Villanova and Virginia, the two most recent NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions, are set to square off in the “Holiday Hoops Classic” presented by Bud Light Seltzer on Saturday, December 19 at Madison Square Garden. The storied programs will tip-off in a non-conference game at 8:00 pm EST that will be nationally televised live on FOX.

Villanova (2-1), currently ranked No. 12 in the Associated Press Top 25, won the NCAA Championship in 2016 and 2018, while Virginia (1-1), presently ranked No. 15, claimed the Championship in 2019. This will be the first meeting between the schools since January 29, 2017. The Cavaliers hold a 5-3 advantage over the Wildcats in the all-time series which dates back to 1981.

Madison Square Garden Entertainment and presenting sponsor, Bud Light Seltzer, will welcome back the first college basketball game at The Garden since the global pandemic brought a halt to the BIG EAST Tournament in March. Bud Light Seltzer, as well as other industry leading companies, including Element Electronics and Kia Motors will receive promotion via Madison Square Garden’s unique array of assets, including on-court decals, digital courtside signage, branding on the multimedia displays, GardenVision and other promotions.

The game will be played with no fans in attendance.

“Madison Square Garden is excited to host these two storied college basketball programs for the first college basketball game at The Garden since March,” said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, Marquee Events and Operations. “We would like to thank Villanova, the University of Virginia, FOX for stepping in to produce and deliver this great game to a national audience, as well as the event’s presenting sponsor, Bud Light Seltzer, for their support of this marquee matchup.”

“We’re excited to be partnering with Madison Square Garden Entertainment and welcoming college hoops fans back to the sport they love,” said Joe Barnes, director of sports marketing for Bud Light Seltzer. “While the fan experience will look different this season, we hope they enjoy watching this marquee match-up from the comfort of home – all while enjoying a Bud Light Seltzer.”


Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. (MSG Entertainment) is a leader in live entertainment experiences. The Company presents or hosts a broad array of events in its diverse collection of venues: New York’s Madison Square Garden, Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre; and The Chicago Theatre. MSG Entertainment is also building a new state-of-the-art venue in Las Vegas, MSG Sphere at The Venetian, and has announced plans to build a second MSG Sphere in London, pending necessary approvals. In addition, the Company features the original production – the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes – and through Boston Calling Events, produces the Boston Calling Music Festival. Also under the MSG Entertainment umbrella is Tao Group Hospitality, with entertainment dining and nightlife brands including Tao, Marquee, Lavo, Avenue, Beauty & Essex and Cathédrale. More information is available at www.msgentertainment.com

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