Basketball: Bears to face Syracuse in MSG opener

Cal will face Syracuse in the semifinals of the 2009 2K Sports Coaches vs. Cancer event at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, with the chance to perhaps take on defending NCAA champion North Carolina in the title game.

The Gazelle Group, which organizes the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament, announced the pairings today for the Thursday, Nov. 19 semifinals. The Golden Bears (22-11) will face the Orange (28-10) in the 4 p.m. PST game, with UNC (34-4) battling Ohio State (22-11) in the late game.

The consolation and championship games will be played on Friday, Nov. 20.

This will be Cal’s first-ever meeting with Syracuse, which returns to Madison Square Garden for the first time since last year’s Big East Tournament, where it beat Connecticut in a six-overtime quarterfinal game. The Bears’ most recent appearance at MSG came in 1999, when they beat Clemson 61-60 to win the postseason NIT.

Cal opens its season with home games in the Coaches vs. Cancer event on Monday, Nov. 9 against Murray State, then Wednesday, Nov. 11 vs. Detroit. The Bears will advance to the semifinals in New York regardless of the results of the opening-round games.

Tickets for games at Madison Square Garden can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 212 307-7171.

Jeff Faraudo

  • stay golden

    @ KU & @ Syracuse

  • uh oh.

    Lack interior will never be more apparent.
    Reminds me that I had a dream that Alex Kirk (6’11”) committed to Cal to join Richard Soloman (6’9″).
    How is it that Cal can advance to the “semifinals” no matter if they lose both opening games? That’s not really a tournament, so you can’t call it the “seminfinals”.
    Funny, they schedule total creme puffs in the opening rounds, and then pit 4 monsters in the finals in NYC. It’s purely a made for TV proposition.

  • BearItAll

    Agreed, but this makes since as it is a fundraiser “tournament.”

    How would TV ratings, donations, ticket sales, etc be if 2 or 3 no-body’s were playing in MSG for a brand new tourney?

    Hopefully, the tourney evolves in coming years to include real talented teams in all rounds, but until then I’m ok with them raising money for cancer, while having a couple warm up games and a significant challenge game in the process.

    These types of tourneys will be great for Cal if they keep it up… Bring back that national recognition.. In Monty we trust!!!! (Never thought I’d say that as a Cal fan)

    Even if Cal loses both @KU and in MSG vs. Syracuse, they will be battle tested going into conference play, which in the Pac-10 is an absolute must, esp with how we start the Pac schedule this year…

    Not to mention if we make the NCAAs again this year, having faced top flight talent and different coaching styles from across the nation will be an incredible experience asset.

  • BearItAll

    Big 3 + Jorge, Zhang and Bak Bak… Can’t wait!!! And its not even football season yet!

  • Joe

    Anyone going to the tourney? I really want to see a game between Cal and elite teams, and besides it’s a good excuse to go to NYC.