A Tuesday last December marked one of the most impactful days of the entire college basketball season. Four prominent men’s basketball's programs — No. 1 Louisville, reigning national runner-up Texas Tech, Indiana and Connecticut — met in a doubleheader at New York City's Madison Square Garden in the Jimmy V Classic.
The "why" behind the matchups will leave a lasting impact upon the lives of many.
Inspired by former North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator Jim Valvano and his fight against cancer, the V Foundation for Cancer Research was created in 1993 and the Jimmy V Classic began in 1995. Last season marked the 12th annual Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research, a weeklong ESPN initiative to raise money for cancer research, and the 25th Jimmy V Classic.
The V Week for Cancer Research in the 2018-19 season raised a record-$8.3 million for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, according to the ESPN Events website. That total marked an 83-percent increase from 2017.
Since 1993, the Foundation has raised more than $225 million in cancer research grants. To learn more about the V Foundation or to donate, you can visit www.jimmyv.org.
The 2020 Jimmy V Classic is scheduled to see Baylor play Rutgers and Gonzaga face Tennessee. The 'Zags finished last season ranked No. 1 in the NET, Baylor was fifth, Rutgers ranked No. 30 and Tennessee was No. 63.
All four teams are ranked in Andy Katz's first Power 36 for the 2020-21 season, including Gonzaga and Baylor ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.