Louisville men’s basketball will join UConn, Indiana and Texas as participants next season in the 2023 Empire Classic presented by Continental Tire benefiting Wounded Warrior Project, which will return to Madison Square Garden on Nov. 19-20, 2023, in New York.
Matchups, television coverage and the on-sale date for tickets will be announced at a future time. Those interested in receiving updates can sign up for alerts at Gazelle Ticket Updates and follow the Empire Classic on Twitter @EmpireClassicBB and on Instagram @empireclassicbb.
This will be the Cardinals’ first time competing in the Empire Classic, although they’re no strangers to Madison Square Garden. Louisville competed frequently in the arena as former members of the Big East Conference, and UofL head coach Kenny Payne and additional members of his staff are very familiar with the venue during their time on staff with the NBA’s New York Knicks.
Louisville is 24-18 all-time against the other members of the tournament field – all of which advanced in this year’s NCAA Tournament – including an 11-6 mark against the newly crowned 2023 NCAA Tournament champion UConn. The former conference foes have not met since 2014.
UConn is ranked No. 1 in the country in ESPN’s Way-Too-Early 2023-24 Preseason Poll. The Huskies will be making their fifth Empire Classic appearance (1999, 2007, 2013, 2018). They won the event in 2013, defeating Indiana 59-58 in the championship game.
The Cardinals are also 9-11 all-time against regional rival Indiana – the last meeting in 2018 – as well as 4-1 against Texas, although the teams haven’t faced off since 1997.
Indiana finished the 2022-23 season with a 23-12 record and reached the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. This will be the Hoosiers’ second appearance in the Empire Classic (2013). Texas finished the season 29-9 and advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament after winning the Big 12 Tournament. Texas will make its seventh appearance in the Empire Classic, the most of any school (1997, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2019). They won the event in 2014, defeating California 71-55 in the championship game.
About the Empire Classic presented by Continental Tire benefiting Wounded Warrior Project
First played in 1995, the Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project presented by Continental Tire is acclaimed as college basketball’s premier early-season tournament. Featuring teams from across the nation, the Empire Classic annually attracts the top programs in the sport.