Canisius College and the University at Buffalo announced today that the annual meeting between the Golden Griffins and the Bulls in men’s basketball will be played Wednesday, Dec. 11, in First Niagara Center. This will be the first of a two-year deal that will see the two cross-town rivals meeting on the hardwood in downtown Buffalo.
The Canisius-Buffalo game will be a part of a college basketball doubleheader on Dec. 11, with Niagara also playing host to Davidson that night. The game this year will serve as a home game for Buffalo, and the return game during the 2014-15 season will serve as a home date for the Griffs.
“We are very excited to take one of Western New York’s great rivalry games downtown to the First Niagara Center,” Canisius Director of Athletics Bill Maher said. “We anticipate this year’s Canisius-Buffalo game will be the start of an annual tradition of bringing college basketball back downtown to Buffalo, where it can serve as a tremendous showcase for our student-athletes, alumni and the great college basketball fans in this area.”
Canisius has played 43 regular-season and MAAC Tournament games in First Niagara Center, where the Blue and Gold holds a 26-17 all-time record. This year’s date with Buffalo in the arena will mark the first time Canisius has been the road team in a regular season game in the facility, and it will serve as the second time Canisius and Buffalo have played in First Niagara Center. The previous meeting was Dec. 12, 1998, when the Griffs scored a 66-56 victory over the Bulls. The Griffs’ last played a game downtown in the 2009-10 season, where the team lost to MAAC rival Fairfield by the score of 58-52.
“Canisius is committed to growing college basketball in the City of Buffalo and we believe having the local teams play games in the arena is vital to achieving that goal,” Maher added. “This two-year series between Canisius and Buffalo is a demonstration of that commitment.”
Canisius will serve as co-hosts of the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament Second and Third Rounds March 20 and 22, 2014 with the MAAC and Niagara. Tickets for this year’s NCAA Tournament games in First Niagara Center will go on sale to the general public Saturday, Oct. 19 at 10 a.m. Fans can log on to www.ncaa.com/mbbtickets for more information.The Griffs will officially open the 110th season in program history Monday, Nov. 11, when the Blue and Gold plays host to South Dakota in the Koessler Athletic Center. Game time is set for 7 p.m. Season tickets for the 26-game men’s and women’s home slate are now on sale through the Canisius Ticket Office by calling 716-888-2885 between from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday. New Canisius basketball season ticket holders still have the opportunity of purchasing NCAA Tournament tickets prior to the general public sale, during Phase II of the pre-sale event.