MGM Grand To Host Colorado vs. Oklahoma State
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Four Top 25 college basketball programs will be on display at MGM Grand (www.mgmgrand.com) in Las Vegas on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 in an inaugural nationally televised doubleheader benefitting Coaches vs. Cancer, an initiative spearheaded by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (www.nabc.com) and the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org).The MGM Grand Showcase tips with reigning Mountain West champion New Mexico taking on Marquette at 7:00 p.m. (MT) in the opener, televised live on ESPNU. The University of Colorado Buffaloes will face former Big 12 Conference foe the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the nightcap on ESPN2 at 9:30 p.m. (MT). The two games will be played at the 16,800-seat MGM Grand Garden Arena, home of the biggest names in sports and entertainment including many of boxing’s premier championship bouts over the past two decades. The CU/OSU game will be broadcast to more than 100 million homes on ESPN2.bd Global, LLC, a Lexington, Ky.-based sports marketing firm, has signed an exclusive three-year contract with MGM Grand to provide college basketball content. The Showcase is the first of several new regular season college basketball events at MGM Grand over the next few seasons. In 2012, the resort played host to the Holiday Hoops Classic and this past March partnered with the Pac-12 Conference to become its new home for the annual Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Colorado went 21-12 during the 2012-13 campaign advanced to its second straight NCAA Tournament (second round) and finished 10-8 in the Pac-12 at the fifth place slot. The Buffs feature 2013 World University Games and first team selection Spencer Dinwiddie. CU also plays its Pac-12 Conference tournament at the MGM Grand."We’re excited to play against a storied program, and certainly a Top 25 team like Oklahoma State,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “It’s going to be a great opportunity for us."The Cowboys were 24-9 last season and finished tied for third in the Big 12 Conference with a 13-5 record. OSU also made the NCAA Tournament last March (second round) and feature All-American Marcus Smart.CU/OSU played one another on a regular basis from 1948-2011 when both were members of the Big Seven, Big Eight and Big 12 Conferences. The Cowboys lead the all-time series, 60-48, however are 6-6 on neutral courts. The Buffs won the last game between the two programs on Jan. 15, 2011 in Boulder (75-71).“Many thanks to MGM Grand for its commitment to helping us launch this annual event benefitting a cause that college basketball passionately supports,” said Brooks Downing, president of bd Global (www.bdglobalsports.com), the event promoter. “With four of the nation’s top teams for next season, it will definitely have a March Madness atmosphere that day at MGM Grand.”Tickets ranging from $30 - $250 (courtside seating), not including applicable service charges and taxes, go on sale Thursday, July 25 at 10 a.m. and will be sold at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.Complete event information can be found at wwwmgmgrandshowcase.com. For group sales or sponsorship opportunities, interested parties should contact bd Global at 859-951-6141.
New Mexico returns to Las Vegas after winning the Mountain West Conference Tournament at UNLV last March. The Lobos, coming off a 29-6 season, return four starters for new head coach Craig Neal. Senior guard Kendall Williams led the team in scoring last season at 13.3 points per game and junior center Alex Kirk averaged 12.1 per contest to go along with 8.1 rebounds. Coach Buzz Williams has Marquette primed for another strong year following last season’s run to the Elite Eight. The Golden Eagles captured a share of the Big East regular season title in 2012-13 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament East Regional Final before falling to Syracuse. MU will be led by 6-8, 290 lb. Davante Gardner, a senior forward that averaged 11.5 points and 4.8 rebounds last year.Oklahoma State and head coach Travis Ford received an unexpected boost when Smart, a National Player of the Year candidate, opted to return for his sophomore season despite being an expected top-five selection in the NBA Draft. The Cowboys return three other starters, including Le’Bryan Nash. CU head coach Tad Boyle has quickly positioned his Buffs among the elite of the Pac-12 with back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances since moving to the league in 2011. CU returns four starters from a team that won 21 games a year ago, including Dinwiddie (15.3 points, 3.0 assists) and Askia Booker (12.4 points, 3.5 rebounds).A portion of every ticket sold for the MGM Grand Showcase will directly benefit Coaches vs. Cancer. The program provides critical mission outreach while raising funds in support of the American Cancer Society’s lifesaving efforts to help people stay well and get well, fund groundbreaking research into cancer’s causes and cures, and fight back through legislative action at the local, state, and national levels. Since 1993, high school and college coaches across the country have raised more than $87 million to support the American Cancer Society’s fight against cancer.|Reggie Minton, NABC deputy executive director, said, “Our NABC coaches have championed the Coaches vs. Cancer program for 20 years now. We are very appreciative for the support we receive for this initiative in the hope of finding a cure for cancer.”
About bd Global:bd Global, LLC is a representation, event management, and public relations firm operating on an international platform within the vast industry of sports marketing. bdG manages multiple college basketball events in the United States each season, and previously has managed events across North America and the Caribbean, including college basketball events in Phoenix, Boston, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Dallas and Houston. bdG represents a number of major college basketball coaches including Indiana’s Tom Crean, Western Kentucky’s Ray Harper, UNC Wilmington’s Buzz Peterson and Morehead State’s Sean Woods. www.bdglobalsports.com. About MGM Grand Garden Arena:The MGM Grand Garden Arena is home to concerts, championship boxing and premier sporting and special events. The Arena offers comfortable seating for as many as 16,800 with excellent sightlines and state-of-the-art acoustics, lighting and sound. Prominent events to date have included world championship fights between Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson as well as Oscar de la Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez; and concerts by The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Bette Midler, George Strait, Janet Jackson, Phil Collins, Billy Joel, U2, Lady Gaga, Sting, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Jimmy Buffett and the Barbra Streisand Millennium Concert. The MGM Grand Garden Arena also is home to the annual shows including Academy of Country Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, iHeartRadio Music Festival and the Frozen Fury NHL pre-season game which features the Los Angeles Kings vs. Colorado Avalanche.About Coaches vs. Cancer:The Coaches vs. Cancer program empowers coaches, their teams, and communities to join the fight against cancer by participating in awareness efforts, advocacy programs, and fundraising activities. Guided by the Coaches vs. Cancer Council, participating coaches help people with cancer today and to find cures to end the disease tomorrow, and have raised more than $87 million to help the American Cancer Society’s mission.
MGM GRAND SHOWCASESaturday, Dec. 21, 2013MGM Grand Garden Arena | Las VegasMarquette vs. New Mexico – 7:00 p.m. MT (ESPNU)Oklahoma State vs. Colorado – 9:30 p.m. MT (ESPN2)TICKET INFORMATION
- Tickets go on sale Thursday, July 25 at 10 a.m. PT at MGMGrand.com, Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations or by calling 800-745-3000
- Tickets priced at $250, $125, $75, $50, $30
- Complete event and ticket information can be found at www.mgmgrandshowcase.comQUOTES FROM PRESS CONFERENCE ANNOUNCING MGM GRAND SHOWCASE
MGM Grand president Scott Sibella: “This is a great day for the MGM. As you know, the MGM is known for hosting the best and biggest events ever. Now we are excited to host college basketball. We have a great line-up and I think this is just the beginning of many great things within college basketball for us.”
Colorado head coach Tad Boyle: “This is a great opportunity. Our relationship as a Pac-12 member with the MGM Grand makes this great for us. We have four starters coming back but will still be very young. It’s going to be a great night for college basketball in December.”
Marquette head coach Buzz Williams: “Our entire program is excited about the opportunity to compete in Las Vegas and is honored by the invitation to participate in the event at the MGM Grand. In regards to our game against New Mexico, we are going to face one of the top teams in the nation and it’s going to be a tough challenge from start to finish.”
New Mexico head coach Craig Neal: “Las Vegas has been really good to us and we appreciate the opportunity to come play here again. We have a really good team coming back and I’m excited about playing a great team led by a friend of mine in Buzz Williams.”
Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford: “I can’t think of a better place to be on Dec. 21. This will be a hotbed for basketball on that day with four teams that will be Top-20. We have some very good players coming back but it’s going to be a great battle with our old Big 12 foe in Colorado.” “Our fans are excited about coming out here and I think is the start of something very special for MGM Grand and college basketball.”