On Wednesday we passed along information regarding a pretty cool new event for college hoops: a Super Bowl weekend gala of games at the Garden. The tie-in comes with the fact New York City (well, technically MetLife Stadium in New Jersey) will be hosting the 2014 Super Bowl.
The night before the big game, MSG will host a tripleheader of hoops, two of those games being college, while the third/main event will be the Knicks hosting LeBron James and the Miami Heat. All games will be Saturday, Feb. 1. Pretty great, right?
On Thursday it was officially announced that, in addition to Georgetown-Michigan State, Marquette vs. St. John's will be on the ticket. The Red Storm plays a majority of their home games in the Garden as is, so the move makes sense.
Marquette-St. John's will tip at 12:30 p.m. ET. The Spartans and Hoyas will play at approximately 3 ET, and The games will be broadcast on Fox Sports and Fox Sports 1, the new network that is scheduled for an Aug. 17 launch. Georgetown, Marquette and St. John's are three of the members in the restructured 10-team Big East. The rejuvenated conference has a television contract with Fox.
College basketball-wise, it's a good draw. Marquette and Michigan State at last look were in the CBSSports.com Top 25 (and one) offseason rankings. Georgetown still has weapons, and some believe the improving St. John's team could have as much talent top to bottom as any group in the Big East. Marquette has made eight straight NCAA tournaments and three straight Sweet 16s. Michigan State won 27 games last season and fell to Duke in the Sweet 16.
Michigan State and Georgetown have one meeting in their history: MSU toppled John Thompson's Hoyas 80-68 in the NCAA tournament's second round in 1986. Michigan State
“Playing Georgetown in Madison Square Garden on Super Bowl Saturday is a great addition to our schedule,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said in a statement. “I have a lot of respect for Coach Thompson and the way he has continued to build his program on a foundation of toughness first implemented by his father, a man for whom I have an incredible amount of admiration. As a huge football fan, I'm excited to be a part of Super Bowl weekend in some small way, while also playing a game in one of the greatest basketball venues.”
Georgetown won 25 games last year but fell in the Round of 64 to Cinderella darling Florida Gulf Coast. The team lost No. 3 overall pick in the draft Otto Porter, but Markel Starks and Greg Whittington have the skill to be all-league guys.
Who knows what teams we'll get for the Super Bowl. The build-up will be bombastic and as big as ever, I'm sure, but at least we know we'll have solid hoops and a lot of tradition/star power the night before the big game. How often have we ever been able to see three different facets of American sports (pro hoops, college hoops, the NFL) combine so logistically to create a huge event?