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September 20, 2012

Lavin & St. John's to tip-off eight MSG games

Steve Lavin & St. John's to tip-off eight games

NEW YORK, NY, - Furthering its legacy as the "Mecca of Basketball," MSG Sports announced today a college basketball schedule that is once again underscored by prominent college basketball tournaments such as the 2K Sports Classic, Jimmy V Classic, NIT Season Tip-Off, 76th Annual National Invitation Tournament, Maggie Dixon Classic, and the BIG EAST Championship. The Garden's 2012-2013 schedule is highlighted by the anticipated addition of the Gotham Classic and Steve Lavin and St. John's University's Red Storm's return for eight locally and nationally televised games.

A number of industry leading companies will partner with MSG Sports for the 2012-13 season of College Basketball at Madison Square Garden. Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, Foot Locker, Kia, and Reese's will all receive prominent exposure via MSG's unique array of assets, including digital courtside signage, promotions, GardenVision and experiential benefits.

"As we complete phase two of our historic top-to-bottom transformation, we are honored to welcome college basketball back to Madison Square Garden for the 78th season." said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, MSG Sports. "The Mecca of Basketball will once again showcase top notch teams and events throughout the season and provide our college basketball fans with memorable moments."

Returning with a new benefactor, the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project will get the Garden's college basketball season started with two nationally televised matchups. On November 15, Alabama will battle Oregon State University and Villanova will play Purdue in the semifinal games. All four teams will return Friday, November 16 to compete in consolation and championship games. WWP's purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.

The 2012 NIT Season Tip-Off is set for November 21 and 23. The 16-team field includes regional hosts: Kansas State, Michigan, Pittsburgh, and Virginia. Additional teams include: Bowling Green, Cleveland State, Delaware, Fairfield, Fordham, IUPUI, Lamar, Lehigh, North Texas, Penn, Robert Morris and Alabama-Huntsville.

On Tuesday, December 4, the annual Jimmy V Classic presented by Corona Extra returns with stellar matchups as The Jimmy V Foundation continues its efforts to raise awareness for cancer research. The excitement begins in game one as Texas faces Georgetown and continues through the evening with NC State facing Connecticut on the hardwood in the second game.

After an eventful season, Steve Lavin and the Red Storm will return to their home away from home in the annual Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival presented by Foot Locker. On Saturday, December 8, the tradition is continued as the Holiday Festival remains the longest-running in-season college event. Local favorites St. John's and Fordham will go head-to-head in game one, followed by Iona and Rutgers in game two.

The Garden celebrates women's basketball with the return of the annual Maggie Dixon Classic on Sunday, December 9 with a matchup featuring the return of NY Liberty legend Teresa Weatherspoon and her Louisiana Tech team as they face C. Vivian Stringer and Rutgers in game one. Nationally ranked women's college basketball programs hit The Garden hard-court when Duke takes on St. John's in game two.

In its 30th consecutive season, the BIG EAST Championship presented by American Eagle Outfitters returns to The Garden with its five day tournament beginning Tuesday, March 12 through Saturday, March 16.

The 76th Annual National Invitation Tournament is back to close the 2012-13 Madison Square Garden college hoops schedule with the semi-final doubleheader on April 2 and championship game on April 4.

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