The Villanova Wildcats announced that they will be taking part in the fourth annual Never Forget Tribute Classic this upcoming December in Newark, New Jersey. It’s, um, not the sexiest field but it’s for a great cause.
NEWARK, NJ – (June 28, 2018) – Prudential Center has announced that it will host the fourth annual Never Forget Tribute Classic presented by United Rentals on Saturday, December 14. This year’s tournament features a doubleheader between four high-profile universities: the Delaware Blue Hens will take on the Villanova Wildcats and the Mississippi State Bulldogs will face the Kansas State Wildcats. Both of the highly-anticipated match-ups will air exclusively on ESPN, and will also be available through the ESPN app. Official broadcast and game times will be announced at a future date.
Tickets go on sale to the general public beginning Friday, July 26 at 10 a.m. EST and Ticketmaster.com. Tickets will be available in person at Prudential Center Box Office on Monday, July 29 at 11 a.m. EST should inventory remain. To sign up for Prudential Center pre-sale, fans may click HERE.
The Never Forget Tribute Classic will partner with SoliderStrong, which was created to support the men and women of the armed forces that sprung into action, protecting our freedom in the wake of 9/11. As the charitable partner of the Never Forget Tribute Classic, SoldierStrong will continue to service American veterans by providing resources that aid both mental and physical rehabilitation, as well as by assisting with scholarship grants for domestic and foreign affair grants. For more information, visit www.soldierstrong.org
”We are honored to participate in the Never Forget Tribute Classic at the Prudential Center,” said University of Delaware Head Coach Martin Ingelsby. “This will be a tremendous opportunity for us to compete against an outstanding program in Villanova while also supporting a worthy cause.”
The Blue Hens are coming off a 17-16 season, finishing fifth overall in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). The Blue Hens have reached the NCAA Tournament five times since 1992. Delaware will be taking on the Villanova Wildcats, which finished its 2018-19 season with 26-10 record. The Wildcats are led by Head Coach Jay Wright who has been with the school since the 2001-02 season. Villanova has made 39 NCAA Tournament appearances overall, and has won three NCAA National Championships since 1985.
”The Never Forget Tribute Classic is one of the great events we get to participate in,” said Villanova University Head Coach Jay Wright. “The cause - to never forget September 11, 2001 - is important to all of us, especially at Villanova, which lost great people in that tragedy. To be able to play a great Villanova rival in Delaware makes this special too. Delaware and Villanova have staged some battles in both football and basketball over the years and our programs have great respect for each other.”
”It’s good to be playing Kansas State in the Never Forget Tribute Classic which is for a tremendous cause that I feel really strongly about,” said Mississippi State Head Coach Ben Howland. “Kansas State won the Big 12 last year, and Bruce Weber is one of the best coaches in the country. It will be a big challenge for our team to play a very good and a well-coached team in Kansas State.”
The second matchup of the event is a clash of two highly-touted teams entering the 2018-2019 season. Mississippi State, fresh off of a 23-11 campaign that was topped off with an appearance in the NCAA Tournament, will look to continue the winning culture it established last season. This is Mississippi State’s second appearance at the event after winning against Clemson last year. The Bulldogs have reached the NCAA Tournament 11 times in school history. Finishing with a record of 25-9 last season under current Head Coach Bruce Weber, Kansas State is coming off of an appearance in the NCAA Tournament The Wildcats have reached the NCAA Tournament 31 times in school history.
”We are excited to play in the Never Forget Tribute Classic and help raise awareness for such a noble cause,” said Kansas State Head Coach Bruce Weber. “This will be a great opportunity for our team to face a very good Mississippi State squad, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament and returns a significant portion of their team.”
Past teams that have participated in the Never Forget Tribute Classic tournament include: Notre Dame, Villanova, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, Virginia Commonwealth, Florida, UConn and Cincinnati. The Wildcats downed Notre Dame in this event in December 2016, 74-66.
As we are presently basketball starved, let’s watch the highlights from the last time Villanova participated in this tournament and Josh Hart broke the hearts of the Irish faithful. YA HATE TO SEE IT.