Wednesday, August 6, 2014
After playing at Kansas Nov. 24, the Rider University basketball team will take on the Spartans of Michigan State on Thanksgiving night in the Orlando Classic.
“We are excited about having the opportunity to play and compete in the Orlando Classic,” says Rider head coach Kevin Baggett. “The tournament is loaded with great coaches such as Bill Self (Kansas) and Tom Izzo (Michigan State). These are coaches who I have admired from afar for a very long time.”
The Rider-Michigan State game will be televised live on ESPN2 at 6:30 p.m.
Michigan State lost to eventual national champion Connecticut in the Elite Eight during the 2014 NCAA Championship tournament.
Other teams in the Orlando Classic (formerly the Old Spice Classic) are Tennessee, Rhode Island, Georgia Tech, Marquette and Santa Clara. “This might be one of the toughest fields yet,” Baggett said of the Classic. Tennessee advanced to the Sweet 16 last year and Kansas played in the third round of the NCAA tournament.
Games will be played Nov. 27, 28 and 30 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex HP Fieldhouse at Walt Disney World Resort.
Rider and Michigan State have never met in men’s basketball. The Broncs played Kansas during the 1987-88 season and again in 1990-91.
Rider took part in the 2007 Old Spice Classic in Orlando, defeating Penn State while losing to Kansas State and North Carolina State. “We beat Penn State and lost to Kansas State and NC State in games we had a chance to win late in the contest,” Baggett says. “I’m excited that we get to play some great teams and excited for the guys to go away and do some team bonding.”
This year the Classic will feature 12 games over three days. Each team will compete in one game per day, advancing through a bracketed-tournament format. Eight of the 12 matchups, including the championship game, will be showcased on ESPN or ESPN2. ESPNU will carry three games and one will be exclusive to ESPN3.
On Thanksgiving Day, Santa Clara plays Tennessee at 12 noon and Kansas plays Rhode Island at 2 p.m. Following the Rider-Michigan State game Marquette plays Georgia Tech at 8:30 p.m.
Rider will play either Marquette or Georgia Tech on Friday.
On Friday, there will be a consolation games at noon (or 2:30 p.m.) and 6:30 p.m, with semifinal games at 2:30 p.m. (or noon) and 9 p.m. On Sunday the battle for seventh place will be at 10:30 a.m., the third place game will be at either 1 p.m. or 4 p.m. The fifth place game will be at 6:30 p.m and the championship game will be played at 1 p.m or 4 p.m.
For more information, please visit espnevents.com/orlando-classic.