Tennessee basketball to play Gonzaga in Madison Square Garden, per report
The Tennessee men's basketball team will get a rematch with Gonzaga this season, according to a report Thursday.
The Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden will feature Vols vs. Bulldogs, Stadium's Jeff Goodman reported, citing sources, rekindling a matchup that ended in a thrilling 76-73 victory for Tennessee on Dec. 9, 2018, at the Jerry Colangelo Classic in Phoenix.
That victory came amid a 19-game winning streak that propelled Tennessee to the nation's No. 1 ranking.
Tennessee is 2-4 all-time against Gonzaga. This will be the fourth matchup during coach Rick Barnes' tenure. The Vols lost to Gonzaga in 2015 in Seattle and again in 2016 in Nashville.
The Jimmy V Classic started in 1995 and is held to raise money and awareness for cancer research. It is named after Jim Valvano, the former North Carolina State coach who died of cancer. The four-team event is played annually in December in New York. The other matchup, according to Goodman's report, will pit Baylor against Rutgers. It is not a bracketed tournament. Rather, each team plays one game.
Tennessee's only other appearance in the Jimmy V Classic came in 2000. The Vols lost 107-89 to Virginia at Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
In November, Tennessee will play in the Charleston Classic, an eight-team field that includes Houston, Florida State, Seton Hall, VCU, Oklahoma State, Penn State and Charleston.
The Vols last played at Madison Square Garden, one of basketball's cathedrals, on Nov. 26, 2010. They beat Villanova 78-76 in the championship game of the NIT Season Tip-Off after beating VCU two days earlier.
Tennessee last played in New York in November 2018, beating Louisville before falling to Kansas in the NIT Season Tip-Off at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Blake Toppmeyer covers University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @btoppmeyer. If you enjoy Blake’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it. Current subscribers can click here to join Blake's FREE text group offering updates and analysis on Vols football.