Representatives from Buffalo, Canisius, Niagara and St. Bonaventure announced today that the four Division I Western New York schools will all take part in the Big 4 Basketball Classic on Saturday, Nov. 29 in First Niagara Center. Niagara will play host to St. Bonaventure in the first game of the hoops twinbill at 2 p.m., followed by Canisius hosting Buffalo game at 4:15 p.m.
This will mark the fourth time all four Western New York schools have played in First Niagara Center in a doubleheader format, and it will be the first true Big 4 doubleheader since Dec. 12, 1998 – a span of nearly 16 years.
“We are excited to be able to bring a true Big 4 doubleheader to First Niagara Center,” Canisius Director of Athletics Bill Maher said. “Setting up an event like this takes a lot of cooperation and coordination between all four schools and First Niagara Center. With four strong fan bases and alumni groups locally, and the fact that this year’s event falls on the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, we believe this will be a must-see event for sports fans across Western New York.”
Tickets for the Big 4 Basketball Classic start at $20, with floor seats costing $30. One ticket is good for both games. Fans can purchase tickets through Tickets.com, at the First Niagara Center Box Office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., or charge by phone at 1-888-223-6000.
The first Big 4 basketball doubleheader was played in downtown Buffalo on Nov. 30, 1996, when 12,508 fans saw Niagara play Buffalo and Canisius take on St. Bonaventure in the nightcap. That attendance number ranks second-best on the First Niagara Center’s all-time basketball regular season attendance list. The four Western New York programs also played in a doubleheader format on Nov. 29, 1997 and then again Dec. 12, 1998. Since the building opened, Canisius has played a total of 45 games on the hardwood at First Niagara Center, where the Blue and Gold is 27-18 all-time. The Griffs defeated Buffalo 69-55 on Dec. 11, 2013, the team's first win in First Niagara Center since the 2008-09 campaign.
Big 4 Basketball Classic Set for Nov. 29
Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics