BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo men's basketball team has been selected to play in the first-ever James Naismith Classic presented by Citi on Nov. 16 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada. Buffalo will face Harvard out of the Ivy League in one of the three games featured on the day.
"It's an honor to represent Buffalo and the Mid-American Conference in an international setting by playing in the James Naismith Classic," said Buffalo head coach Jim Whitesell. "We are excited to play a well-respected program in Harvard, which carries a rich basketball history. This is a great opportunity for our fans to make a short trip to Toronto and spend the day watching some first-class basketball in a fantastic venue."
The Bulls are coming off the best season in school history, finishing 32-4 on the season and 17th in the final USA Today Coaches Poll. Buffalo won its fourth MAC Tournament Title in five seasons and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year.
Harvard is expected to be one of the top teams in the Ivy League again this year as they are coming off a 19-12 season and a 10-4 mark in conference play. The Crimson advanced to the second round of the NIT this last year by defeating Georgetown before losing by just a point to NC State in the second game.
Tickets for the James Naismith Classic will go on-sale to the general public on Friday, May 31 via all Ticketmaster locations and the Scotiabank Arena box office. Game times and television broadcast information will be released at a later date. The other games in the tripleheader will include St. Bonaventure vs. Rutgers and Tennessee vs. Washington.
Dr. James Naismith, known as the inventor of the game of basketball, was born in Almonte, Ontario on Nov. 6, 1861. He went on to become a physical education teacher, chaplain, author, and physician, and founder of the University of Kansas basketball program. He wrote the original rules of basketball in Springfield, Massachusetts, where the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame stands today. Dr. Naismith is a member of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame and the first member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
In March it was announced that the Bulls would take part in the eight-team Charleston Classic, which takes place from Nov. 21-24 in Charleston, South Carolina.