ESPN Announces Start Times for 2009 SEC/BIG EAST Invitational Games in New York City and Tampa
ESPN Regional Television (ERT) announced today the start times for the third annual SEC/BIG EAST Invitational, to be held Dec. 9-10 in New York City and Tampa, Fla.
The two-night men’s college basketball event begins with a doubleheader Wednesday, Dec. 9, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The matchups feature Georgia vs. St. John’s at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2, followed by Kentucky vs. Connecticut at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
On Thursday, Dec. 10, at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, DePaul will take on Mississippi State at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2, followed by Syracuse vs. Florida at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Six of the eight participating teams reached the postseason in 2008-09, with Connecticut, Mississippi State and Syracuse playing in the NCAA Tournament. The Orange made it to the Sweet Sixteen, while the Huskies advanced to the Final Four. Florida and Kentucky played in the National Invitation Tournament, while St. John’s played in the College Basketball Invitational.
Teams invited to participate in the SEC/BIG EAST Invitational are chosen by ESPN in consultation with the conferences and are based on geographic and competitive criteria.
The BIG EAST holds a 5-3 record in the first two years of the SEC/BIG EAST Invitational. The two conferences have combined to produce four of the last seven NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions (Florida – 2007 and 2006; Connecticut – 2004; Syracuse – 2003) and seven of the last 14 national champions (Connecticut – 1999; Kentucky – 1998 and 1996).
Tickets for the 2009 SEC/BIG EAST Invitational are expected to go on sale in early September. For more information, visit the official Web site: http://www.secbigeastinvitational.com.
Date Time (ET) Game Network
Wed, Dec 9 7 p.m. Georgia vs. St. John’s ESPN2
9:30 p.m. Kentucky vs. Connecticut ESPN
Thu, Dec 10 6:30 p.m. DePaul vs. Mississippi State ESPN2
9 p.m. Syracuse vs. Florida ESPN
ESPN Regional Television/Event Ownership
The nation’s largest syndicator of collegiate sports programming, ESPN Regional Television (ERT) annually produces more than 1,000 telecasts of sporting events. Programming includes football, basketball, NCAA events, golf and NHRA events accounting for more than 2,200 live and/or original hours of programming. In addition to event ownership, ERT is the production headquarters for ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network; syndication rights-holder and producer of national, regional and local shows for college conferences (e.g. – SEC, BIG EAST, Big 12, Mid-American, Sun Belt, WAC).
ESPN Regional Television markets and/or owns several sporting events, including collegiate football events: the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth, Texas); MAACO Bowl Las Vegas; New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Papajohns.com Bowl (Birmingham, Ala.); Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); St. Petersburg Bowl; the MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney (Orlando, Fla.); and The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards; collegiate basketball events: the 76 Classic (Anaheim, Calif.); Charleston Classic (S.C.); ESPNU Road to the Championship (Women; San Antonio); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Old Spice Classic (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); O’Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan); SEC/BIG EAST Invitational; All-College Classic (Oklahoma City) and ESPNU BracketBusters; as well as the ESPN National Golf Challenge presented by Callaway. For more information, visit ESPNPlus.com.