Thursday, August 8, 2013

Marquette, Michigan State To Visit Garden In Pre-Super Bowl Doubleheader

Buzz Williams will make first of two trips to Madison Square Garden this season on February 1st, when his Marquette team leads off a basketball tripleheader on Super Bowl weekend. (Photo courtesy of the Washington Post)

Super Bowl XLVIII takes place at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on February 2nd, but if the sport of basketball has its way, the real entertainment and drama could come the day before at Madison Square Garden.

In an unprecedented move, a tripleheader will take place at the "World's Most Famous Arena" on February 1st, with two college games leading into the de facto main event between the New York Knicks and two-time reigning NBA champion Miami Heat. At 12:30 p.m., Marquette will make its return to the Garden to square off against Steve Lavin and St. John's for the first time since the two teams met in a thrilling regular season finale on the same floor on March 9th, when Vander Blue's buzzer-beating layup lifted the Golden Eagles to an overtime victory over the Red Storm that helped launch their eventual run to the NCAA Tournament East Regional final three weeks later. 

Tom Izzo will see his Michigan State team play three games in New York this year with announcement of February 1st contest against Georgetown at Madison Square Garden. (Photo courtesy of the Detroit News)

In the second game, Michigan State will return to the Big Apple for a nonconference showdown with Georgetown that tips off at 3 p.m. The matchup with the Hoyas will be just the second in Michigan State history, with the only other meeting taking place in Dayton, Ohio on March 15th, 1986; when the Jud Heathcote-led Spartans, behind future NBA head coach Scott Skiles, defeated Georgetown 80-68 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. It will also be the third game in New York for the Spartans, who will be participating in the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament at the Barclays Center in November, where they will face Virginia Tech on November 22nd prior to meeting either Oklahoma or Seton Hall the following night.

Both the St. John's/Marquette and Michigan State/Georgetown games will be televised by Fox Sports 1, the new cable network that launches in just nine days and has already made its mark as a competitor to ESPN through an aggressive advertising campaign, as well as their latest acquisition, a 12-year broadcast rights contract with the United States Golf Association that will give Fox the television rights to the U.S. Open; the second of four major championships on the PGA Tour, as well as the U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Senior Open.

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