ESPN Events has announced the matchups for the 2023 Jimmy V Men’s Classic Presented by Corona. The men’s college basketball doubleheader at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, Dec. 5 will feature Florida Atlantic vs. Illinois and North Carolina vs. Connecticut. Both games will air on ESPN (times TBD).
The field boasts three teams that have made Final Four runs in the past two NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournaments, including 2023 National Champion UConn, North Carolina (appeared in the 2022 NCAA Championship game), and Florida Atlantic (2023 Final Four participant). The Huskies are making their fifth appearance in the Jimmy V Classic as they aim to defend their national title this season. This will be the first matchup between UNC and UConn since 2005. The esteemed programs have won a combined 11 national titles.
Three of the four participating teams are slotted in ESPN’s ‘Way-Too-Early Top 25’ rankings for the 2023-24 season, with Connecticut (No. 5) and Florida Atlantic (No. 9) in the Top 10 and North Carolina currently sitting at No. 15. The Fighting Illini, who played in the inaugural Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in 2003, have participated in the last three NCAA Tournaments under coach Brad Underwood.
The Jimmy V Classic, named for legendary college basketball coach Jim Valvano, annually raises money and awareness for the V Foundation for Cancer Research. The men’s classic began in 1995 and is in its 29th year – 20th at Madison Square Garden. The women’s event debuted in 2002. Both events are part of ESPN’s V Week initiative, which utilizes platforms to talk to sports fans about the importance of cancer research. To date, ESPN has helped raise nearly $200 million dollars for the V Foundation. In 2022, V Week helped raise a record breaking $14.4 million dollars which was a 32% increase over 2020 fundraising.
Tickets for the men’s doubleheader will go on sale this fall. First priority and access to the best seats will be offered to fans who sign up for the pre-sale through jimmyvclassic.com.
Matchups for the 2023 Jimmy V Women’s Classic – to be played on campus sites – will be announced at a later date.
Head Coach Quotes:
Connecticut’s Dan Hurley: “It’s an honor to be invited to participate in the Jimmy V Classic to help raise funds for such a worthwhile cause that hits close to home for my wife Andrea and me, with the loss of her father to this dreaded disease. I know our team and our UConn fanbase are thrilled to be coming to Madison Square Garden to compete against one of the most storied programs in college basketball. We are very much looking forward to Dec. 5.”
Florida Atlantic’s Dusty May: “Florida Atlantic Basketball is thrilled to be a part of this year’s Jimmy V Classic. We look forward to participating in this event and, most importantly, supporting the V Foundation. For our group, returning to Madison Square Garden will be very special and we’re excited for the opportunity to play a great program like Illinois.”
Illinois’ Brad Underwood: “We are pleased to once again participate in the Jimmy V Classic and support the V Foundation in the fight against cancer. It is an honor to return to The Garden for the Jimmy V and play in The World’s Most Famous Arena. Facing a veteran Florida Atlantic team coming off a Final Four appearance will be a tremendous opportunity for our team; we look forward to the challenge.”
North Carolina’s Hubert Davis: “It’s a great opportunity to play the defending national champions and return to Madison Square Garden, a special place that has meant a lot to me. Carolina fans were amazing when we played in the Garden last year against Ohio State, so we know the atmosphere will be something special. It’s also a blessing and honor to play in this year’s Jimmy V Classic as Coach Valvano is being inducted in the Hall of Fame this year. It should be a great night to celebrate Coach Valvano and college basketball.”
About the V Foundation for Cancer Research
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State University basketball coach and ESPN commentator. The V Foundation has funded over $310 million in game-changing cancer research grants nationwide through a competitive process strictly supervised by a world-class Scientific Advisory Committee. Because the V Foundation has an endowment to cover administrative expenses, 100% of direct donations are awarded to cancer research and programs. The V team is committed to accelerating Victory Over Cancer®. To learn more, visit v.org.
About ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of collegiate sporting events nationwide. In 2023, the 33-event schedule includes four early-season college football kickoff games, 17 college bowl games, nine college basketball events, a college softball event and the inaugural Band of the Year National Championship, in addition to a new college gymnastics event coming in 2024. Collectively, these events account for over 400 hours of live programming on ESPN platforms, while reaching 60 million viewers and attracting more than 650,000 annual attendees. Each year, the portfolio of events features more than 20 Division I conferences and hosts over 4,000 participating student-athletes. With satellite offices in more than 10 cities across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.