Santa Clara will open with play in the 2011 76 Classic with New Mexico on Thanksgiving Day at 6 pm in a nationally-televised match-up on ESPNU. Santa Clara will play either Washington State or Oklahoma in the next round on Fri., Nov. 25. The 2011 76 Classic, to be held Thanksgiving weekend, at the Anaheim (Calif.) Convention Center, adjacent to Disneyland, is in its fifth-year and will include 12 games in three days and will be telecast on ESPN2 and ESPNU.
"The team is excited to be a part of the tournament. It's a great way for us to face quality competition and compete for a championship within the season," said head coach Kerry Keating.
In addition to Santa Clara (WCC) and New Mexico (Mountain West), The 76 Classic field features Boston College (Atlantic Coast), Oklahoma (Big 12), Saint Louis (Atlantic-10), UC Riverside (Big West), Villanova (Big East) and Washington State (Pac-12). Each school will compete in one game per day, advancing through a bracket-tournament format.
Eleven of the 12 games will be televised with ESPNU and ESPN2 splitting the majority of the games: Boston College will face Saint Louis in the opening contest at 11 a.m. PT (ESPNU); Villanova will play UC Riverside at 1:30 p.m. (ESPN2); New Mexico will meet Santa Clara at 6 p.m. (ESPNU); and Oklahoma will face Washington State at 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2).
Five of the eight teams reached the postseason in 2010-11, including Villanova (21-12) in the NCAA Championship. Washington State (22-13) advanced to the NIT's semifinals in New York, while Boston College (21-13) and New Mexico (22-13) also competed in the postseason event. Santa Clara (24-14) defeated Iona to win the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
With the Big West Conference again serving as the host for the 76 Classic, UC Riverside (12-19) will represent the league in the tournament at the 7,500-seat Anaheim Convention Center. Lon Kruger, who coached UNLV to the 2010 76 Classic title as the Rebels downed Virginia Tech 71-59 in the finals, is the new coach at Oklahoma (14-18). Saint Louis (12-19) is coached by former ESPN commentator Rick Majerus.
The 2011 76 Classic will feature 12 games through three days. Each team will compete in one game per day, advancing through a bracket-tournament format. The two teams that remain undefeated will face off in a championship game Sunday, Nov. 27, at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT on ESPN2.
The inaugural 76 Classic was played in 2007, with USC defeating Southern Illinois. In 2008, Wake Forest captured the title by beating Baylor and in 2009, West Virginia, an eventual NCAA Final Four participant, defeated Portland. Butler, which lost the 2010 national championship game to Duke, was also in the 2009 76 Classic field.
Tickets to the 2011 76 Classic will go on sale Mon., Aug. 22, and can be purchased at www.Ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Packages include all 12 games for $90 plus applicable taxes and fees, Booster tickets $50 plus applicable taxes and fees, or single-session tickets for $20 plus applicable taxes and fees. Special travel package information can be found at www.AnthonyTravel.com.
2011 76 Classic Schedule (Home team listed second)
Date Time (PT) Game Network
Thu, Nov 24 11 a.m. Game 1 - Boston College vs. Saint Louis ESPNU
1:30 p.m. Game 2 - Villanova vs. UC Riverside ESPN2
6 p.m. Game 3 - New Mexico vs. Santa Clara ESPNU
8:30 p.m. Game 4 - Oklahoma vs. Washington State ESPN2
Fri, Nov 25 11:30 a.m. Game 5 - Games 1 & 2 winners ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU
2 p.m. Game 6 - Games 1 & 2 losers ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU
6:30 p.m. Game 7 - Games 3 & 4 losers ESPNU
9 p.m. Game 8 - Games 3 & 4 winners ESPN2
Sun, Nov 27 10:30 a.m. Game 9 - Games 6 & 7 losers TBD
1 p.m. Game 10 - Games 6 & 7 winners ESPNU
3:30 p.m. Game 11 - Games 5 & 8 losers ESPNU
6 p.m. Game 12 - Games 5 & 8 winners (Championship) ESPN2