Four storied college basketball programs – UConn, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia – headline the 2015 Jimmy V Men’s Basketball Classic doubleheader on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, with proceeds benefiting The V Foundation for Cancer Research. The 21st annual event will be on ESPN from New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden.
All four teams have been ranked in the early part of the 2014 season. The current AP poll includes No. 7 Virginia, No. 16 West Virginia, No. 21 Maryland and defending national champion UConn receiving votes after being as high as No. 17 in the first two weeks of the season.
The early-season event will conclude the ninth annual Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research that begins on December 2 in 2015. The weeklong initiative across multiple ESPN platforms and programs features special content to help raise funds for cancer research. In 2013, Jimmy V Week raised a record $1.8 million, bringing the seven-year total of contributions to more than $8.2 million.
The 2014 Jimmy V Week will culminate with the Jimmy V Men’s Basketball Classic Presented by Corona – from Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, Dec. 9, on ESPN: No. 10 Villanova vs. No. 24 Illinois at 7 p.m., followed by Indiana vs. No. 5 Louisville at 9 p.m.
West Virginia vs. Virginia: The all-time series stands at 8-8 with the last meeting dating back to the 1985 National Invitation Tournament, a 56-55 UVA victory. Virginia played in the 2000 Jimmy V Classic, a 107-89 win over Tennessee. West Virginia participated in 2008, a 68-65 loss to Davidson.
Maryland vs. UConn: UConn holds a 4-2 advantage in the series with the last four meetings on a neutral court. The Huskies only appearance in the Jimmy V Classic came against then-No. 25 NC State, a 69-65 defeat, in the 2012 event. Maryland will be playing in its first Jimmy V Classic.
“We are delighted to be an invited once again to participate in the Jimmy V Classic. The Jimmy V Classic is one of the premier events during the college basketball season. We are honored to play in such a special event for a great cause, and I know our fans will be excited to see us play on ESPN and in Madison Square Garden, a place where we have had great memories over the years. Most importantly, the Jimmy V Classic and Jimmy V Week brings awareness to such a terrible disease because every one of us has been affected by cancer in one way or another. When we lost our mother in 2003, my family and I started the Norma Mae Huggins Cancer Research Endowment Fund, and we have raised almost a million dollars in cancer research. We all need to join the fight to end this deadly disease.” – Bob Huggins, West Virginia head coach
“We are certainly honored to play West Virginia in the 2015 Jimmy V Men’s Basketball Classic.” Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said. “To have an opportunity to be part of this classic and what it stands for, and to play a quality opponent at The Garden is great for our program.” – Tony Bennett, Virginia head coach
“We are excited that our program will have the opportunity to play on the national stage in one of the premier early-season tournaments in the country. It’s a tremendous field comprised of some of the nation’s top programs. It is also an honor to compete in this event, which for more than two decades has raised money and awareness in the fight against cancer.” – Mark Turgeon, Maryland head coach
“We at UConn are honored and proud to again be asked to participate in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. First and foremost, we are pleased to be able to help the V Foundation, which does such an outstanding job funding research to move us closer to someday wiping out this terrible disease.
Secondly, we are looking forward to playing against another great program in Maryland, and in such an exciting basketball atmosphere as Madison Square Garden, where our fans always give us such tremendous support.” – Kevin Ollie, UConn head coach
Tickets for the Jimmy V Classic will go on sale in the fall of 2015. Ticket prices range from $15-$275 and will be available for purchase at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, Ticketmaster charge by phone at (866) 858-0008(866) 858-0008 [Call: (866) 858-0008(866) 858-0008] and online at www.ticketmaster.com and www.thegarden.com.