We already knew the Illini would be battling Villanova in the Big Apple. Now it's official.
The matchups for the Jimmy V Classic were officially announced Wednesday. Illinois will face Villanova in one of the games, with the Indiana Hoosiers taking on the Louisville Cardinals in the other. The event takes place Dec. 9 at Madison Square Garden.
The two Big Ten participants will likely be the underdogs in their respective games. Both Villanova and Louisville have established themselves as perennial powers, and more great things are expected from those two programs in 2014-15. But the Illini and Hoosiers, both coming off seasons without an NCAA tournament appearance, will have a national stage to show off some of their youngsters and to try and grab an early season upset.
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The Illini are 3-3 all-time in six games against the Wildcats, with the most recent coming in 1988. That last contest was an NCAA tournament game in Cincinnati, a three-point loss for the orange and blue. The December matchup, like each of the last four, will come on a neutral court.
Meanwhile, the Hoosiers are 10-6 in 16 all-time meetings with the Cardinals. They've met twice this century: a home-and-home series in 2002 and 2003. Though the last four games in the series date back to 1990, Indiana has the recent edge, winning three of the past four. The Hoosiers have appeared in this event twice previously, in 1999 and 2009.