Providence, Virginia Tech, Washington, Saint Louis highlight 2017 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project

Providence, Virginia Tech, Washington, Saint Louis highlight 2017 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project

March 6, 2017 (Revised April 21, 2017)

PRINCETON, N.J. – Providence, Virginia Tech, Washington, and Saint Louis will headline the 23rd annual 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project (@2kclassic), which returns to Madison Square Garden this coming November.

Tickets for the 2K Classic Championship Round presented by Continental Tire go on sale Thursday, March 9, and may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 866-448-7849 or through Ticketmaster.com.

All four games of the Championship Round will be televised on ESPN networks.

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Providence, Virginia Tech, Washington, and Saint Louis will host a pair of regional round games on campus in addition to playing at the World’s Most Famous Arena on Nov. 16-17.

Joining Providence, Virginia Tech, Washington, and Saint Louis in the 2017 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project are Belmont, Detroit Mercy, Houston Baptist, and Seattle.

Belmont will host Detroit Mercy, Houston Baptist, and Seattle in the Subregional Round of the 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project, Nov. 18-19, in Nashville, Tenn.

Providence (Head Coach: Ed Cooley, Big East Conference) – Head coach Ed Cooley has guided the Friars to three straight NCAA Tournaments, amassing 69 wins over that span…this season, Providence is 20-11 and projected to be in this year’s NCAA Tournament field…in addition, in that span Providence posted four straight winning Big East seasons for the first time ever…in 11 years, Cooley has led his teams to 215 wins…this season, the 13-man roster, is highlighted by four juniors – forward Rodney Bullock, guard Jalen Lindsey, point guard Kyron Cartwright, and forward Emmit Holt…Providence has earned 19 NCAA Tournaments bids, twice advancing to the Final Four…this will be the Friars’ first appearance in the 2K Classic.

Virginia Tech (Head Coach: Buzz Williams, Atlantic Coast Conference) – Buzz Williams is in his third season at Virginia Tech…after winning 11 games his first season, he guided the Hokies to a 20-win season each of the last two years, including this year’s 21-9 record, marking the first time since 2009-10 and 2010-11 that VT has posted back-to-back 20-win seasons…the Hokies are projected to earn an NCAA Tournament bid this season…this year’s squad features eight underclassmen, led by junior Justin Bibbs and sophomore Ahmed Hill…the Hokies also look for the hopeful return of sophomore swingman Chris Clarke from injury…Virginia Tech has been to eight NCAA Tournaments and will be making its 2K Classic debut.

Washington (Head Coach: Mike Hopkins, Pacific-12 Conference) – After 22 years at Syracuse, Mike Hopkins takes over at Washington…in his time with the Orange, Syracuse went to 16 NCAA Tournaments, winning the 2003 National Championship, as well as advancing to four Final Fours, five Elite Eights, and 10 Sweet 16s…he inherits a team that has just two seniors and is led by sophomore forward Noah Dickerson and sophomore guard Matisse Thybulle…Washington, which has been to 16 NCAA Tournaments and one Final Four, previously played in the 2K Classic in 2013.

Saint Louis (Head Coach: Travis Ford, Atlantic 10 Conference) – Travis Ford is in his first season at Saint Louis, tasked with rebuilding the Billikens to once again be a force in the Atlantic 10, which saw them advance to three straight NCAA Tournaments just three years ago…the current roster, which has just two seniors, is highlighted by guard Davell Roby and Jermaine Bishop, who are SLU’s top two leading scorers…the Billikens also have four NCAA Division I transfers sitting out this season, three of which will be eligible for the 2K Classic…Saint Louis has been to eight NCAA Tournaments and will be making its first appearance in the 2K Classic.

Belmont (Head Coach: Rick Byrd, Ohio Valley Conference) – In 31 seasons, Rick Byrd has led the Bruins to over 660 wins in building Belmont into one of the premier mid-major programs in the nation…this year, Belmont won the Ohio Valley Conference regular season title by five games and owns a 22-6 record…the Bruins, who have only three seniors on this year’s roster, will be led next season by juniors Austin Luke – currently second nationally in assists per game – and Amanze Egekeze…Belmont has been to seven NCAA Tournament over the last 11 years.

Detroit Mercy (Head Coach: Bacari Alexander, Horizon League) – After serving as an assistant coach at Michigan for six seasons, Bacari Alexander returned to his alma mater this season to rebuild the Titans…this year, each of the top three scorers on the team are underclassmen, led by led by junior forward Jaleel Hogan and Horizon League Freshman of the Year Corey Allen…Detroit Mercy, which has been to the NCAA Tournament six times, previously played in 2009 and 2013 2K Classics.

Houston Baptist (Head Coach: Ron Cottrell, Southland Conference) – Houston Baptist is coming off its first-ever Division I postseason appearance, having played in the 2016 College Basketball Invitational…head coach Ron Cottrell, who is in his 26th season at HBU, has won over 460 games and is the eighth longest-tenured coach in the country…Josh Ibarra and Braxton Bonds lead a roster that returns 11 players next season…the Huskies are 17-12 this season and will be making their 2K Classic debut in November.

Seattle (Head Coach: Jim Hayford, Western Athletic Conference) – In 18 seasons, Jim Hayford has won 360 games and led his teams to nine postseason tournaments and he brings that to Seattle as he begins to rebuild the Redhawks…11 of 15 players are expected to return next season, led by 7-3 center Aaron Menzies and guard Zack Moore…the Redhawks last played in the 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project in 2010.

The schedule for the 2017 2K Classic will be announced at a later date.

In the 2016 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project, Michigan won its four games by an average of over 17 points a game to take the title. Zak Irvin followed his 16-point, seven-rebound effort from the 79-61 semifinal win over Marquette with 16 points and six rebounds in the 76-54 championship game win over SMU to earn Most Valuable Player laurels.

Wounded Warrior Project is the beneficiary of the 2K Classic. The mission of Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is to honor and empower wounded warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla.

The 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project is produced by the Gazelle Group of Princeton, N.J. The Gazelle Group is a sports marketing firm, specializing in event production and management, client representation, and sponsorship consulting. Gazelle produces numerous nationally-recognized events, such as the Legends Classic, the Gotham Classic, and the College Basketball Invitational. For more information on the Gazelle Group, please visit gazellegroup.com.

The Northeast Conference (NEC) is the sponsoring conference of the 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project. Now in its 36th season, the NEC is a NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association consisting of 10 institutions of higher learning located throughout six states. For more information on the NEC, visit the official website at www.northeastconference.org or follow on Twitter @NECsports

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