Madison Square Garden releases full schedule for 89th season of college basketball | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / May 20.
  • Madison Square Garden releases full schedule for 89th season of college basketball

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    Release provided via Madison Square Garden

     The Rick Pitino era at St. John’s University tips off the 89th season of college basketball at Madison Square Garden when the Hall of Fame coach and the Red Storm take on Michigan in the Gavitt Tipoff Games on Monday, Nov 13.

    The Garden will host ten of the top-25 teams in the country including the defending champions and No. 6 ranked UConn Huskies.

    The MSG Holiday Festival makes a return with a special tripleheader in December.

    The packed schedule concludes with the perennially sold out BIG EAST Championship on Saturday, Mar. 16.

    St. John’s University, who have been calling Madison Square Garden home since 1934, will play a total of eight games at “The World’s Most Famous Arena” during the upcoming college basketball season. In addition to Michigan in the Gavitt Tipoff Games, which honors the legacy of Dave Gavitt, key matchups include BIG EAST foes Providence, No. 5 Marquette, No. 22 Villanova, UConn, No. 8 Creighton and Georgetown.

    Additionally, the historic Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival, which ran annually from 1952 – 2018 makes a return with a one-day tripleheader featuring the Red Storm against local rival, Fordham University preceded by Georgia Tech taking on Penn State and capping with a women’s hoops contest featuring St. John’s vs. Villanova. This will mark the first-time women will partake in the Holiday Festival. The Dec. 16 matchup with mark the 54th Holiday Festival appearance for St. John’s University.

    Defending NCAA National Men’s Basketball Champions, UConn visits Madison Square Garden on four occasions starting with the Saavta Empire Classic on Nov. 19 and 20. The Huskies return on Dec. 5 when they face No. 19 North Carolina in the Jimmy V Classic followed by a Big East contest against rival St. John’s on Feb. 3.

    The Saavta Empire Classic presented by Continental Tire benefiting Wounded Warrior Project features UConn taking on Indiana, led by former New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson. No. 18 Texas, coming off an Elite Eight appearance, will take on Louisville led by former Knicks assistant coach Kenny Payne.

    The Jimmy V Classic, which celebrates 20 years at MSG this season, raises money and awareness for the V Foundation for Cancer Research in honor of the legendary coach Jim Valvano. The annual event takes to the Garden court on Dec. 5 and features three teams that have made Final Four runs in the past two NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournaments: UConn, North Carolina and No. 10 Florida Atlantic as well as No. 25 Illinois.

    No. 2 Duke returns to The Garden for the 23rd time over the past 26 years to take on No. 20 Baylor in a highlight non-conference matchup between two of the last eight national champions. The highly-anticipated game scheduled for Dec. 20 will mark Baylor’s seventh appearance at Madison Square Garden.

    The Big East Tournament kicks off March Madness at MSG from Mar. 13 through Mar. 16. This will mark the 42nd time the season-ending conference championship will take place at Madison Square Garden, making it college basketball’s longest-running postseason conference tournament held at the same venue.

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