Thursday, April 05, 2007

UConn, Big East scheduling

This was released Thursday afternoon regarding the University of Connecticut's schedule for next season.

Here's the release.

STORRS - The University of Connecticut men’s basketball team will open the 2007-08 season in the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer, which culminates with semifinal- and championship-round play at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The Huskies will be one of four regional hosts for the 2007 2K Sports College Hoops Classic. Other regional hosts are the University of Kentucky, the University of Memphis and the University of Oklahoma. The tournament will feature 16 teams from 16 different Division I conferences broken up into four four-team regionals. The remainder of the field will be announced in the coming weeks.

The opening two UConn regional rounds will be played at Gampel Pavilion on Nov. 7-8 as part of the UConn season ticket package, featuring a doubleheader each evening. The winners of the games from Nov. 7 will meet on Nov. 8 for the chance to advance to Madison Square Garden with the other regional round winners on Nov. 15-16.

This also was released by the Big East regarding a conference series with the SEC next season.

Beginning in 2007, four teams from each conference will face off

ESPN Regional Television, a subsidiary of ESPN, Inc., in conjunction with the Big East Conference and the Southeastern Conference (SEC) announced today the creation of the Big East/SEC Invitational , an annual two-night men’s college basketball event featuring four games from two sites to be televised live on ESPN and ESPN2 on Dec. 5-6.

Four different teams from each conference will be selected to participate for the next four years and the format will feature doubleheaders played at two off-campus sites.

In 2007, West Virginia will take on Auburn at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 and Georgetown will compete against Alabama at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN – both from the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center in Birmingham, Ala., Dec. 5. The following night, South Carolina will play Providence at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 and LSU will take on Villanova at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia.

Teams invited to participate in the Big East/SEC Invitational are chosen by ESPN in consultation with the conferences and are based on geographic and competitive criteria.

The Big East and SEC have combined to produce four of the last five NCAA Men's Basketball Champions ( Florida – 2007 and 2006, UConn - 2004, Syracuse - 2003) and seven of the last 12 national champions (UConn - 1999, Kentucky - 1998 and 1996).

In 2007, the SEC qualified five teams for the NCAA Tournament with Florida advancing to, and ultimately winning, the Final Four and Tennessee and Vanderbilt finishing in the Sweet 16.

The Big East had six teams in the NCAA tournament with Georgetown qualifying for the Final Four and Pittsburgh advancing to the Sweet 16. Additionally, West Virginia was the 2007 NIT champion. In 2006 The Big East sent eight teams to the NCAA Tournament, setting an NCAA record.

ESPN Regional Television will be responsible for the Big East/SEC Invitational’s organization, operation, sponsorship, marketing efforts and more. ESPN Regional Television will work with local groups and anchor institutions to provide marketing, management and game day operations support. Additional details, including sponsorship, are to be finalized.

The Big East/SEC Invitational will join ESPN Regional Television’s extensive lineup of specialty college basketball tournaments. Last year, ESPN and ESPN2 combined to present coverage of four tournament series, highlighted by the Dick’s Sporting Goods Spartan Clash, the Old Spice Classic, the O’Reilly Auto Parts All-College Classic and the Papé Jam.

Ticket information and pricing will be available through either the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center or the Wachovia Center in early July.

Dec. 5 ( Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center; Birmingham, Ala.)
7 p.m. West Virginia vs. Auburn – ESPN2
9:30 p.m. Georgetown vs. Alabama – ESPN
Dec. 6 (The Wachovia Center; Philadelphia)
7 p.m. South Carolina vs. Providence – ESPN2
9:30 p.m. LSU vs. Villanova – ESPN


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