The Jimmy V Classic begins at 7 pm ET on ESPN as the Pittsburgh Panthers (10-0) take on the Cincinnati Bearcats (7-2) at Madison Square Garden. At the conclusion of Pitt-Cincy, the No. 16 Florida Gators (7-2) will play the No. 15 Memphis Tigers (7-1) on ESPN.
Both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are looking to prove they are one of the better teams in the country. Pittsburgh may be the best unranked team, and Cincinnati started the season 7-0, but lost its last two games. I would expect a bruising matchup between the former Big East foes.
The prime time matchup between Memphis and Florida should be quite the contest. Florida has lost to No. 4 Wisconsin and No. 10 UConn by a combined seven points. Memphis recently beat Oklahoma State after losing to the Cowboys by 21 points about a month ago. Both teams have already been tested, and I would expect few mistakes under the bright lights of New York.
Three major conferences are represented by the four teams. A win at the Jimmy V will surely guarantee a ticket to March Madness.
The Jimmy V Foundation was started in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano to fund cancer research. The Jimmy V Classic benefits the foundation and its goal of finding a cure for cancer.