On March 20 and 22, some of the best college basketball teams in the country will come to Brooklyn for first- and second-round NCAA Tournament games at Barclays Center. But you don't have to wait until then to see top talents visit the City: many of the highest-ranked teams in the preseason AP poll, including four of the top five, are set to play at Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden this season. Below is our guide to when you can see the big guys (and scout for your tournament bracket), plus a few other highlights of the season.
1. North Carolina* vs. UCLA, CBS Sports Classic, December 19, Barclays Center (tickets)
2. Kentucky vs. Ohio State, CBS Sports Classic, December 19, Barclays Center (tickets)
3. Maryland vs. Connecticut, Jimmy V. Classic, December 8, Madison Square Garden (tickets)
5. Duke vs. Virginia Commonwealth and team TBD, 2K Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project, November 20 and 22, Madison Square Garden (tickets)
11. Villanova vs. Stanford and team TBD, NIT Season Tip-Off, November 26–27, Barclays Center (tickets); vs. St. John's, January 31, Madison Square Garden (tickets)
17. Wisconsin vs. Georgetown and team TBD, 2K Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project, November 20 and 22, Madison Square Garden (tickets)
20. Connecticut vs. Maryland, Jimmy V. Classic, December 8, Madison Square Garden (tickets)
21. LSU vs. Marquette and team TBD, Legends Classic Basketball Doubleheader, November 23–24, Barclays Center (tickets)
24. Butler vs. St. John's, February 6, Carnesecca Arena (tickets); vs. team TBD, Big East Tournament, March 9–12, Madison Square Garden (tickets)
Maggie Dixon Classic (women's)
When: December 28
Where: Madison Square Garden
Connecticut and Maryland—ranked first and ninth in the preseason AP poll, respectively—square off in MSG's highest-profile women's college basketball event.
Big East Tournament
When: March 9–12
Where:Madison Square Garden
Tickets: Check ticketmaster.com for details
Butler, Creighton, DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, Villanova and Xavier compete for bragging rights and the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Atlantic 10 Tournament
When: March 9–13
UMass, Saint Louis, Virginia Commonwealth and the rest of the teams in the Atlantic 10 play for their conference's auto bid.
2016 NCAA Tournament First and Second Rounds
When: March 18 and 20
There may be no more exciting time in sports than the first two rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament, when mid-majors get a shot at the sport's royalty (Princeton over UCLA, Vermont over Syracuse, Lehigh over Duke and Florida Gulf Coast over Georgetown are just a handful of examples of memorable upsets from years past).
*Numbers indicate preseason rankings.