UCLA to Face Bellarmine, Gonzaga in Empire Classic
LOS ANGELES – The UCLA men's basketball team will compete against Bellarmine and Gonzaga on Nov. 22 and 23, 2021, at the Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project presented by Continental Tire at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The four-team field of UCLA, Bellarmine, Central Michigan and Gonzaga, will compete on Monday, Nov. 22 and Tuesday, Nov. 23. The Bruins will take on Bellarmine on Nov. 22 and will face Gonzaga on Nov. 23. The two-day event will be televised by the ESPN family of networks. Game times and ticket information for the Empire Classic will be announced at a later date.
"We look forward to playing Bellarmine and Gonzaga, and we're even more excited to be able to play closer to home, so more of our fans can attend these games," said Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men's Head Basketball Coach. "We are working on putting together a great schedule for the upcoming season, and we hope to announce another exciting series soon, beginning in Pauley Pavilion."
UCLA's showdown against Gonzaga on Nov. 23 will mark a rematch of last season's NCAA Final Four semifinal at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The Bruins and Bulldogs battled into overtime, with Gonzaga securing a 93-90 win on a last-second half-court buzzer beater. UCLA's national semifinal game against Gonzaga was honored as the "Best Game" at the 2021 ESPY Awards in New York City, earlier this month.
The Bruins are scheduled to face Bellarmine for the first time, when the two programs meet on Nov. 22. Bellarmine University, from Louisville, Ky., elevated its athletics program to the NCAA Division I level last summer and went 14-8 during the 2020-21 men's basketball season. Under the direction of head coach Scott Davenport, the Knights posted a 10-3 record in the ASUN Conference.
UCLA's appearance in the 2021 Empire Classic will mark its first of three events at T-Mobile Arena during the 2021-22 men's basketball season. In addition, the Bruins are scheduled to take on North Carolina in the CBS Sports Classic on Saturday, Dec. 18. The Pac-12 Tournament will take place at T-Mobile Arena in March of 2022.
For additional information about the 2021 Empire Classic, fans can visit EmpireClassic.net and can follow @EmpireClassicBB on social media.