Since the Enquire won’t cover this, we will.
The Bearcats basketball team will return to Madison Square Garden this season to face the Pittsburgh Panthers in the Jimmy V Classic that will be shown on ESPN 7pm ET December 17th.
Cincinnati left MSG last season after the Big East Tournament knowing they might not ever play in the storied arena again. That was until ESPN and the Jimmy V Classic decided to pair up Cincinnati and Ohio River rival Pittsburgh to square off against one another.
Cincinnati and Pittsburgh have played 18 times since the Bearcats joined the Big East, the series is tied 9-9. The two teams split both match ups last season, Cincinnati took their Big East Opener in Pittsburgh while the Panthers came to Cincinnati and took a win. Cincinnati has not played in the Jimmy V Classic in 11 years while Pittsburgh has played in the Classic three times.
The 2013-2014 marks the first time Cincinnati and Pittsburgh will not play. After the demise of the Big East the Bearcats have moved to the American Athletic Conference, home to the three remaining Big East teams as well as a mixture of Conference USA members and an independent. The Panthers on the other hand left the Big East for the ACC.
This is a great matchup for the Bearcats. Not only do they get to face off against a rival, they are also playing in MSG on ESPN in prime time. ESPN has also picked two American Athletic Conference teams to play in the Classic. Memphis was also picked, they play the Florida Gators following the conclusion of the Cincinnati Pittsburgh game.
Cincinnati fans will likely travel well to MSG, there is a growing support amongst the student body to support and represent the school and the team on the road. Look for a great showing from Bearcats faithful in December. Not to mention the Bearcats should play Xavier in December as well.