Connecticut and Rutgers have been selected to play in the 2010 Maggie Dixon Classic, which will take place on Dec. 19 at Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y. The highly regarded women’s basketball doubleheader will pit the Scarlet Knights against Texas A&M, while the Huskies will take on Ohio State.
Overall it is the fifth year of the tournament and the fourth consecutive to be played at MSG. The first year’s game was held in West Point, N.Y. at Army. Rutgers and Texas A&M will tip-off at noon, followed by UConn against Ohio State.
All four head coaches – Rutgers’ C. Vivian Stringer, Texas A&M’s Gary Blair, UConn’s Geno Auriemma and Ohio State’s Jim Foster - participating in the 2010 Maggie Dixon Classic are ranked in the top-20 in winning percentage among active coaches, while three of the four place in the top-10 in total victories. The quartet have tallied 2,857 combined victories with Stringer leading the way with 843 wins - ranked second all-time in women’s basketball history.
Stringer, beginning her 40th season overall on the sidelines this fall, is the longest tenured active Division I head coach in both the men’s or women’s game. UConn head men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun will commence his 39th season this season.
Rutgers faced off with Tennessee last year in the annual event and met Army in its first two seasons of participation in the Classic. The Scarlet Knights are 4-9 all-time at MSG.
“I am extremely honored that the Scarlet Knights have been asked (again)to participate in the Maggie Dixon Classic,” said Stringer, who was presented the Maggie Dixon Courage Award prior to last season’s game. “I lost my husband to a heart condition, so the cause is a very dear andspecial one for me. Maggie Dixon was a remarkable young woman, a life cut shortin her prime.Maggie embodied all that is good about this profession and I believe these two games give us - especially as coaches and players -a chance to honorher and the legacy she created.”
The Scarlet Knights return three starters and six letterwinners from a squad that went 19-15 in 2009-10. RU advanced to its eighth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and 12th in 15 seasons under Stringer.
UConn has won the national championship each of the last two seasons and is riding an NCAA-record 78-game win streak. The Huskies are led by rising senior Maya Moore, who is a two-time Wade Trophy winner. Moore also won the Honda-Broderick Cup and was named MOP of the Final Four.
Tickets for the Maggie Dixon Classic start at $15.00 and go on sale Thursday, July 29 at 12 p.m. They can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office, all Ticketmaster locations and online at www.thegarden.com
. Madison Square Garden’s full college basketball schedule will be announced at a later date.
The Maggie Dixon Classic is held annually in memory of the former Army Black Knights women’s basketball coach. On April 6, 2006, women’s college basketball lost a young and healthy Maggie Dixon, who died from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Over the course of her six months as head coach at the United States Military Academy, she led the program to unprecedented heights; the Black Knights played in their first Patriot League Championship and Dixon led her team to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
Over 325,000 Americans die every year from Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Madison Square Garden will again team with the Dixon family and the Cardiac Arrhythmias Research and Education (C.A.R.E.) Foundation, Inc., for the fourth-annual Heart Health Expo.All fans are encouraged to attend the Heart Health Expo where free heart screenings will be conducted for children and young adults up to age 22 to help raise awareness of heart related illness.