Men's Basketball to play at Madison Square Garden
Start spreading the news. The University at Albany men's basketball team will be heading to New York City to take the world's biggest stage on Feb. 10 when they will play Boston University at Madison Square Garden.
The Danes will be making its first-ever appearance at the World's Most Famous Arena as the second part of a doubleheader of basketball featuring Connecticut and St. John's, which plays half of its home games at the famed location.
The Athletic Directors of Boston University, UAlbany and St. John's together with America East Conference Commissioner Patrick Nero made the announcement on Friday, marking the first time that America East teams will play at the Garden since a 2006 appearance by BU in the Aéropostale Holiday Festival.
Playing at the Garden will give a unique opportunity to players, students and alumni alike, many of whom reside in the vicinity of the arena. It will likely be players only chance in their careers to play at the arena, which has earned the moniker of being the "Mecca of Basketball" amongst basketball historians.
Albany's roster includes Tim Ambrose, who grew up on Long Island in Brentwood, N.Y., making the game a homecoming of sorts for him.
"Albany welcomes the opportunity to play in a world-famous venue that is synonymous with the history of college basketball," said UAlbany Director of Athletics Lee McElroy in a statement. "This provides us a chance to showcase a quality institution and highlight the America East Conference and representative basketball programs. Our alumni, fans and friends, who support the school's mission and athletic program's goals and values, will cherish the basketball team's first appearance in The Garden."
The game will allow for greater exposure in the region for both schools, both of which already have a strong presence of history in the area, of which there is an estimated 70,000 alumni between the two schools in the New York Metropolitan area.
BU will serve as the home team for the game despite Albany's location in New York State, which will give Albany one more desired home game at SEFCU Arena during the tough America East schedule.
"Playing in Madison Square Garden is a great opportunity for our players and our program," said UAlbany coach Will Brown in a statement. "We are looking forward to competing against a very good Boston University team and following two programs that are rich in history and tradition like St. John's and UConn. This is also a very good networking opportunity for all associated with the University at Albany."
The Garden has been home to countless historically significant events including championships for both the NBA's New York Knicks and the NHL's New York Rangers. It was also the site of famous boxing matches such as the first Ali-Frazier fight and hosted numerous musical acts, of which it is seen as the benchmark of success in the music industry.
The Danes conference schedule has yet to be fully released but their first game comes on Nov. 12 when they open their season at home against Cornell, who made a run to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament last season.
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