Crossover Appeal: 2012–2013 College Basketball in New York City

NYC Sports

by Jonathan Zeller, 10/09/2012

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The leaves haven't yet fallen from the trees and the Yankees are still playing baseball—but, believe it or not, college basketball is right around the corner.

Madison Square Garden has always been a roundball mecca—and with the opening of Barclays Center in Brooklyn, fans have twice as many marquee NCAA matchups to choose from. Teams passing through the City include defending national champ Kentucky, potential 2013 contender Indiana (featuring "Cousin Cody" Zeller*), perennial powers like Syracuse and UConn (still, for now, in the Big East) and Cinderellas Butler and VCU. All this in addition to the pleasures of regular-season games on the venerable hardwood of the imposing Carnesseca Arena at St. John's and old Rose Hill Gym at Fordham. Yes, it will be a fun season. Read below for highlights, ticket links and, where we see fit, some additional information. 

*Not actually my cousin.

Barclays Center Classic
November 9, 5:45pm; Barclays Center
Can something rightfully be called "classic" if it's never before taken place? We won't comment on this matter (especially with roughly a billion other "classic" college hoops events scheduled for this season). In any case, the first college-basketball doubleheader at Barclays is a good one, headlined by Kentucky vs. Maryland and with an undercard of LIU–Brooklyn and Morehead State.

2K Sports Classic
November 15, 7pm; November 16, 5pm; Madison Square Garden
Teams: Purdue, Alabama, Villanova and Oregon State
Tickets: (discount code: NYCGO, for $15 off $35 seats.) 

Coaches vs. Cancer Classic
November 16–17, 7pm; Barclays Center
Teams: Florida State, Notre Dame, BYU and Saint Joseph's

Legends Classic
November 19, 5:30pm; November 20, 7:30pm; Barclays Center
Teams: Georgetown, Indiana, UCLA and Georgia

NIT Season Tip-Off
November 21, 7pm; November 23, 2:30pm; Madison Square Garden
For some particularly obsessive fans, Thanksgiving week is not about turkey/Tofurky, stuffing and quality time with family members—it's about getting an early look at some of the nation's top college basketball teams. That's because the Wednesday and Friday bracketing Turkey Day are the dates when the NIT Season Tip-Off decides its champion. This year, such prominent programs as Michigan, Pittsburgh, Kansas State and Virginia hope to reach the semifinals and finals at Madison Square Garden, but must first fend off scrappy underdogs in the earlier rounds.

Jimmy V Classic
December 4, 7pm; Madison Square Garden
Teams: Georgetown, Texas, UConn and North Carolina State

MSG Holiday Festival
December 8, 7pm; Madison Square Garden
Teams: St. John's vs. Fordham, Rutgers vs. Iona

Maggie Dixon Classic
December 9, 11am; Madison Square Garden
This year, the City's biggest women's basketball showcase pits Rutgers against Louisiana Tech, with St. John's facing Duke in the other contest.

Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival
December 15, noon; Barclays Center
Teams: Michigan, West Virginia, Fordham, Princeton, St. John's and St. Francis
Tickets: (discount code: BKHOOPSWF)

Gotham Classic
December 22, noon; Madison Square Garden
Teams: Syracuse vs. Temple

Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational
December 22, 3pm; Barclays Center
Teams: Tulane, Hofstra, South Carolina, Manhattan, Seton Hall and Long Island University–Brooklyn

Big East Championship
March 12–16; Madison Square Garden
For now, Syracuse and UConn—who played that epic six-overtime game not long ago—are still in the Big East. They and the rest of the conference's membership never fail to put on a good show in one of college basketball's most storied conference tournaments. Houston, Memphis, Southern Methodist and their ilk may soon make the conference bigger and less Eastern, but 2012 offers one last hurrah for the league as it once was.
More Info:

Atlantic 10 Championship
March 14–17; Barclays Center
The first conference tournament held at Barclays Center ought to be a good one. Recent Final Four squads Butler and VCU and perennial power Temple are among the teams likely to compete in Brooklyn. 

National Invitation Tournament
April 2, 7pm; April 4, 9pm; Madison Square Garden
Some naysayers dismiss the nation's second-oldest postseason college basketball tournament—created just a year after the NAIA tournament and a year before the NCAA tournament—but savvy fans know that's a mistake. There are around 350 Division I college basketball teams, and only 100, not even a third of them, compete in either the NCAA tournament (68) or the NIT (32). This means that the NIT field, which generally includes a few regular-season conference champions, is bound to be strong. Plus, well-known MSG heroes (Walt Frazier) and villains (Reggie Miller) actually starred in the NIT long before making their marks on Knicks history.

On Campus:
Columbia: Morningside Heights' Ivy Leaguers have a smart-alecky pep band, and their conference sometimes produces postseason Cinderella stories (notably Cornell in 2010).
Fordham: This Atlantic 10 team draws big crowds at historic Rose Hill Gym, the second-oldest on-campus arena in Division I.
Long Island University (LIU): There was bad news off the court in the off-season, but LIU is coming off of back-to-back Northeast Conference titles.
Manhattan: The Jaspers face MAAC rivals in Riverdale, led by high-scoring senior George Beamon.
New York University: The Division III [Fightin'] Violets' pep band cranks out rock-funk covers.
St. Francis (NY): LIU's NEC rivals play at a welcoming, intimate home where fans can watch the game from just a few feet away.
St. John's: The Red Storm, when they're not at the Garden, play in a sterling on-campus arena. Their roster still includes's official Favorite Name in Sports: God's Gift Achiuwa.
Wagner: Josh Thompson—the guy who dunked over his own mother last season—is back, as is the rest of the core of a team that upset Pitt. This could be a big year.

related venues/(9)

  1. 1
    Barclays Center
    620 Atlantic Ave.
    Brooklyn – Prospect Heights
    NY 11217
  2. 2
    Madison Square Garden
    2 Penn Plaza
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10121
  3. 3
    Levien Gym
    3030 Broadway
    Manhattan – Morningside Heights
    NY 10027
  1. 4
    Rose Hill Gym
    Fordham campus, 441 E Fordham Rd
    Bronx – Fordham
    NY 10458
  2. 5
    Draddy Gymnasium
    Manhattan College campus
    Bronx – Riverdale
    NY 10471
  3. 6
    Long Island University Wellness, Recreation and Athletic Center
    LIU Campus, 1 University Plaza
    Brooklyn – Downtown Brooklyn
    NY 11201
  1. 7
    Jerome S. Coles Sports Center
    181 Mercer St
    Manhattan – Greenwich Village
    NY 10012
  2. 8
    Carnesecca Arena
    St John's University campus, 8000 Utopia Pkwy
    NY 11439
  3. 9
    Wagner College Gymnasium
    531 Howard Ave

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