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UConn and Syracuse Clash at MSG

Huskies and Orange Meet for 94th Time. (PC: Steve Slade).
Dec. 4, 2017

Radio: UConn/IMG Radio Network / WTIC 1080 AM
Audio Stream:
Twitter: @UConnMBB
Tickets: UConn-Syracuse
MSG: Jimmy V Classic

STORRS, Conn. –
The UConn men’s basketball team prepares for a showdown in the Big Apple as part of the Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday night, as it takes on rival Syracuse at 9 p.m. ET in Madison Square Garden for the second-straight season.

Coming off a pair of overtime wins against Columbia and Monmouth, the Huskies (6-2) meet the Orange (6-1) for the 94th time in program history. ESPN will provide coverage for the game, as will the UConn/IMG Radio Network.

No. 4 Villanova and No. 12 Gonzaga play in the first game of the Jimmy V Classic – followed by UConn and Syracuse, which will take place approximately 25 minutes after the conclusion of the early game.

In last year’s matchup at the Garden, the Huskies grinded out a 52-50 win over the Orange – with then-sophomore Jalen Adams recording 16 points in the victory. Christian Vital hit a pair of free throws in the final seconds to give UConn the lead.

Adams is fresh off a season-high 31 points against Monmouth on Saturday, helping the Huskies to an 84-81 overtime win against the Hawks at the XL Center. UConn is 5-0 at home this season, with a 1-2 record in neutral site games (PK80 Invitational in Portland, Ore.).

Four players are averaging double-figures for the Huskies, including a team-high 19.4 points from Adams. Redshirt junior Terry Larrier is posting 16 points and a team-best 6.8 rebounds per game, as UConn averages nine-point margins of victory in its first six wins.

UConn is 0-2 in the Jimmy V Classic, with losses to North Carolina State in 2012 and Maryland in 2015. It will be the Huskies’ 116th all-time game at Madison Square Garden, with an overall record of 62-53 (.539) – including 10 championships.


Syracuse, led by 42-year head coach Jim Boeheim, is coming off its first loss of the season – falling to No. 2 Kansas in the Hoophall Miami Invitational, 76-60. Prior to that, the Orange had won six-straight, including a win over Maryland in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

Sophomore Tyus Battle leads the team with 20 points per game, while freshman Oshae Brissett is the top rebounder with 9.7 boards per contest. Syracuse owns a +10.3 point differential over opponents in its first seven games.


For the first time in five years, UConn has played (and won) back-to-back overtime games, with its 77-73 overtime win over Columbia on Nov. 29 and its 84-81 overtime win over Monmouth on Dec. 2. The last time that occurred was when UConn defeated Providence, 82-79, in overtime on Jan. 31, 2013 and topped USF, 69-64, in overtime on Feb. 3, 2013.


The Jimmy V Classic began in 1995 as a way to raise money for the V Foundation for Cancer Research. Founded in 1993 by the late Jim Valvano, legendary college coach and ESPN commenator, the V Foundation has funded over $150 million in cancer research grants.

Valvano, most closely associated as a college coach with North Carolina St., also had a strong connection with UConn, where he landed his first fulltime Division I coaching job. Upon his graduation from Rutgers, Valvano coached one year (1969-70) at Division III Johns Hopkins, then interviewed with then UConn coach Dee Rowe to fill an opening on the Huskies’ staff. The two had an instant connection and Rowe hired Valvano in July, 1970. The two remained close friends until Valvano’s death.