The 23rd annual MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic will once again feature the Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles, hosting the Charlotte 49ers and Manhattan College Jaspers, respectively, on December 17 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. Tipoff is at 1:30 p.m. For ticket information, please contact the Orange Bowl ticket sales office at (305) 341-4701 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Florida Gators will be making their record 18th appearance in the Classic, and second under head coach Mike White. Last year, White’s first season at the helm, the Gators matched a program record for a first year coach with 21 wins. With nine returners, Florida hopes to build on last season’s success. The Gators will take on Classic newcomers – the Charlotte 49ers – out of Conference USA. The 49ers have six returning letterwinners, including their top three scorers from last season and are coached by Mark Price, a first-round draft pick in the 1986 NBA Draft, went on to become a four-time NBA All-Star.
In the tournament opener, Florida State Head Coach Leonard Hamilton, the winningest coach in FSU history, looks to lead his Florida State Seminoles to their seventh straight Classic win; they are 6-1 all-time. The Seminoles take on another Classic newcomer in Manhattan College. Led by head coach Steve Masiello, the Jaspers are chasing their third MAAC title and NCAA Tournament appearance in four years. The Jaspers’ former football program played in the first-ever Palm Festival Game, the predecessor to the Orange Bowl, in 1933.
Both games of the MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic will be televised nationally on FS2 (FOX Sports 2) and statewide to local markets on FOX Sports Sun. In addition to national and local television coverage, each game will be live streamed on the FOX Sports GO app and www.FOXSportsGO.com.