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St. John's in Coaches vs. Cancer next fall in Madison Square Garden

According to today's press release, the 2K Sports/ Coaches vs. Cancer field for the Madison Square Garden Championship games are set for next year. The St. John's Red Storm will face two of these opponents next Novermber 17th and 18th:

Arizona Wildcats

Mississippi St. Bulldogs

Texas A&M Aggies

From the Gazelle Group's site:

The format for the 2011 2K Sports Classic, the nation's premier season-opening college basketball tournament, features 12 teams from across the nation competing in the 17th annual event with St. John's, Arizona, Texas A&M, and Mississippi State hosting regional round games from Nov. 7-11. The four hosts will then advance to the Championship Rounds, Nov. 17-18, at New York's Madison Square Garden, while the remainder of the field will participate in subregionals held at campus sites.

Matchups for the Championship Rounds, as well as the entire bracket for the 2011 2K Sports Classic, will be announced at a later date.

No word on the opponents who will come to play at St. John's in the preliminary rounds. The Red Storm will get two on-campus games (most likely at Carnesecca Arena) against low- to mid-majors to warm up.

Last year, Illinois, Texas, Pittsburgh, and Maryland played in the doubleheaders in Madison Square Garden after a pair of games against low- to mid-majors in the first week of November. This tournament doesn't require the marquee names to win on-campus, so the foursome in Madison Square Garden is set.

It will be great to see St. John's on the national stage, and the new players - almost all freshmen - will enjoy high-level competition immediately in their new MSG home. Practice hard, fellas. Those teams feature a number of up-and-coming programs. It's not a field with a lot of name-recognition or buzz outside of St. John's and Arizona, but expect Arizona to be a tough defensive team, and expect Texas A&M to be a really, really difficult team to face.

Next year's non-conference schedule is shaping up nicely - two of the above teams, Duke at Cameron Indoor, UCLA at Madison Square Garden, and more to come.

Tickets go on sale tomorrow through Ticketmaster. More information from Red Storm Sports.