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2012 Big Apple Classic Cancelled, changes coming to 2013 installment
- Updated: November 13, 2012
By: Michael T. Lyle, Jr.
Special to RoundballDaily.com
The Big Apple Classic, an annual one-day event showcasing four of the nation’s top historically black college men’s basketball programs from the MEAC and CIAA conferences, has been postponed.
Officials from Johnson Inc., a Virginia-based marketing and communications firm behind the creation of this pre-holiday occasion, declined comment on why it was being shelved this year.
Madison Square Garden has played as host since its inception back in 2006, which features matchups between Division II Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association rivals Virginia State and Virginia Union, and long-time Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference foes Howard University and Hampton University.
Virginia Union, winners of three Division II national championships, holds the unique distinction of the only basketball program to have never lost a single contest at The Garden.
The Panthers have won all six matchups played in the classic — three against Bowie State and the others against their in-state counterparts. The Pirates, meanwhile, have dominated the Bison in the classic, leading the series, 4-2, including a 71-53 romp last December.
Speaking during the postgame festivities a year ago, Johnson Inc. President and CEO Kenneth Johnson hinted at the possibility of changes to the format of the event, which included expanding to either a two or three-day-style tournament, along with the inclusion of more schools to the field.
On-going renovations to MSG could have also had an impact on the preparation for this year’s event.
That poses the question of whether or not it could temporary or permanently relocate to one of the three other New York City area arenas – the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ, or the new Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn.
The firm is currently working on distributing a press release detailing this year’s cancellation and what its future holds, sometime this week.