By John Bohnenkamp
It was no secret that Iowa was going to play Duke in the Jimmy V Classic — reports of the matchup had been circulating for weeks on social media, and the Hawkeye players even talked about the game during recent media availabilities.
The matchup for the December 6 game at Madison Square Garden in New York was officially announced on Thursday.
Illinois will play Texas in the other game. Both games in the event will be telecast on ESPN.
Both games will air on ESPN, with times to be announced at a later date.
Iowa, which won 26 games and the Big Ten tournament last season, is making its debut in the event. Duke is undefeated in three previous appearances (1998, 2000, 2016). This also will be the fourth Jimmy V appearance for Illinois (2003, 2014, 2020) and Texas (2003, 2008, 2012).
The Jimmy V Classic, named for legendary college basketball coach Jim Valvano, annually raises money and awareness for the V Foundation for Cancer Research. The men’s event began in 1995 and is in its 28th year, the 19th at Madison Square Garden.
The doubleheader is part of ESPN’s V Week initiative. To date, ESPN has helped raise more than $155 million dollars for the V Foundation. In 2021, V Week raised $13.35 million, surpassing the previous high of $8.8 million in 2019.
This will be Iowa’s fifth trip to Madison Square Garden under coach Fran McCaffery. The Hawkeyes advanced to the NIT championship game in 2013, participated in the 2K Classic in 2014 and 2018, and competed in the 2018 Big Ten Tournament.
Photo: Iowa will play in the Jimmy V Classic in December, the fifth trip to Madison Square Garden under coach Fran McCaffery. (Brian Ray/hawkeyesports.com)