(The 2014 East Regional at Madison Square Garden – Photo by Jason Schott)
Madison Square Garden is known as the Mecca of Basketball, and the schedule they have put together this season proves it.
On Tuesday, The Garden announced their jam-packed college basketball schedule for the 2016-2017 season, highlighted by the return of the NCAA Tournament.
For the second time in four years, the road to the Final Four runs through The Garden.
Madison Square Garden will again be the last stop for one team before heading to Phoenix to compete for a national title. On March 24 and 26, The Garden will host the 2017 NCAA East Regional, which has the Sweet 16 and Elite 8.
After a 53-year hiatus, the NCAA Tournament returned to Madison Square Garden in 2014 for the East Regional, where the University of Connecticut went on a magical run that eventually resulted in a National Championship. Sellout crowds packed the arena for the first NCAA Tournament games at MSG since 1961, which also marked the first NCAA games in the newly transformed Garden.
The first semifinal of the 2017 East Regional will be the 75th NCAA Tournament game played at Madison Square Garden.
The St. John’s University Red Storm, coached by Hall-of-Famer Chris Mullin, will continue to call The Garden their home away from home for six Big East matchups.
The Red Storm’s Big East schedule at The Garden kicks off January 14 against the defending National Champion Villanova Wildcats. They will also face off with longtime Big East rivals Seton Hall, Georgetown and Providence, as well as Xavier and Marquette.
The college basketball season officially tips off on Tuesday, November 15 when the State Farm Champions Classic returns to The Garden for the first time since 2011. The event features annual powerhouses facing off in two compelling match-ups: Kentucky vs. Michigan State and Duke vs. Kansas.
The 2K Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project then returns to The Garden, after a one-year hiatus, on Thursday, November 17 and will feature Pittsburgh vs. SMU followed by Michigan vs. Marquette. All four teams will return on the next day for the consolation and championship games.
To kick off a busy December, an old Big East rivalry returns as UConn takes on Syracuse for bragging rights in the Tire Pros Classic on Monday, December 5.
On Tuesday, December 6, the Duke Blue Devils make their second trip to Madison Square Garden in the annual Jimmy V Classic, taking on the Florida Gators. In the other anticipated matchup, the Purdue Boilermakers take on the Arizona State Sun Devils. All four teams will come together to raise funds for The V Foundation for Cancer Research.
Under Armour and Madison Square Garden join forces for the first-ever Under Armour Reunion on Monday, December 12. Auburn takes on Boston College in the opening game, followed by Seton Hall against South Carolina.
The annual Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival presented by Advance Auto Parts is back for another classic matchup on Sunday, December 18. The Holiday Festival, the longest-running in-season college basketball event, will feature Rutgers against Fordham, followed by St. John’s against Penn State.
Big Ten Super Saturday returns to the Garden for the second year featuring a unique basketball/hockey doubleheader on Saturday, January 28, 2017. The first session will feature a Wisconsin vs. Rutgers basketball game, to be followed that evening by a marquee college hockey showdown featuring Wisconsin vs. Ohio State.
In its 35th consecutive season, the 2017 BIG EAST Tournament returns to The Garden from Wednesday, March 8 through Saturday, March 11.
The 80th Annual Postseason NIT concludes college basketball schedule on Tuesday, March 28 with the semifinals and the Championship Game set for Thursday, March 30.
2016-2017 MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
STATE FARM CHAMPIONS CLASSIC
Tuesday, November 15 Kentucky vs. Michigan State ESPN 7:00pm
Duke vs. Kansas ESPN 9:00pm
2K CLASSIC BENEFITING WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT
Thursday, November 17 Pittsburgh vs. SMU ESPN2/ESPNU 7:00pm
Marquette vs. Michigan ESPN2/ESPNU 9:30pm
Friday, November 18 Consolation Game ESPN2 4:30pm
Championship Game ESPN2 6:30pm
TIRE PROS CLASSIC
Monday, December 5 Syracuse vs. UConn ESPN 7:00pm
JIMMY V CLASSIC
Tuesday, December 6 Purdue vs. Arizona State ESPN 7:00pm
Florida vs. Duke ESPN 9:00pm
UNDER ARMOUR REUNION
Monday, December 12 Auburn vs. Boston College TBD 7:00pm
South Carolina vs. Seton Hall
MSG HOLIDAY FESTIVAL presented by Advance Auto Parts
Sunday, December 18 Rutgers vs. Fordham 11:00am
Penn State vs. St. John’s FOX
BIG TEN SUPER SATURDAY
Saturday, January 28 Wisconsin vs. Rutgers BTN 12:00pm
ST. JOHN’S UNIVERSITY
Saturday, January 14 vs. Villanova FS1 12:00pm
Sunday, January 29 vs. Xavier FS1 6:00pm
Wednesday, February 1 vs. Marquette FS2 7:00pm
Saturday, February 11 vs. Seton Hall CBSSN 12:00pm
Saturday, February 25 vs. Georgetown FSN 12:00pm
Saturday, March 4 vs. Providence FOX or FS2 12:00pm
BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP
Wednesday, March 8 First Round Doubleheader FS1 7:00pm
Thursday, March 9 Quarterfinal Doubleheader FS1 12:00pm
Quarterfinal Doubleheader FS1 7:00pm
Friday, March 10 Semifinal Doubleheader FS1 6:30pm
Saturday, March 11 Championship Game FOX 5:30pm
NCAA EAST REGIONAL
Friday, March 24 & Sunday, March 26 TBD TBD
80th ANNUAL POSTSEASON NIT
Tuesday, March 28 Semifinal Doubleheader TBD TBD
Thursday, March 30 Championship Game TBD TBD