Josh Jones here again with another Tampa Bay Sports update! Get your tickets for all the basketball action in December at the SEC/Big East Invitational Tournament! On Thursday, Dec. 10, at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, DePaul will take on Mississippi State at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2, followed by Syracuse vs. Florida at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
DePaul and Mississippi State are meeting for the second time with the Blue Demons claiming a 62-60 win over the Bulldogs on Dec. 28, 1988 in New Orleans, La., at the USF&G Sugar Bowl Classic. Mississippi State returns to Tampa for the first time since winning the 2009 SEC Tournament Championship in March.
Florida and Syracuse are meeting for the third time in the last five years with each team having a victory (UF in 2005 and Syracuse in 2008). Syracuse leads the all-time series between the two schools, 2-1.
The Gators will be making their fifth appearance in the building since 2003. UF reached the Second Round of the 2003 NCAA Tournament at the St. Pete Times Forum, picked up non-conference wins in 2006 and 2007 and reached the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament at the building in March.
Teams invited to participate in the SEC/BIG EAST Invitational are chosen by ESPN in consultation with the conferences and are based on geographic and competitive criteria. The BIG EAST holds a 5-3 record in the first two years of the SEC/BIG EAST Invitational. The two conferences have combined to produce four of the last seven NCAA Men's Basketball Champions (Florida - 2007 and 2006; Connecticut - 2004; Syracuse - 2003) and seven of the last 14 national champions (Connecticut - 1999; Kentucky - 1998 and 1996).
Fans who wish to attend the Dec.10 doubleheader at St. Pete Times Forum can purchase tickets online at Ticketmaster.com or charge by phone by calling the St. Pete Times Forum box office at (800) 745-3000. Ticket prices are $40, $25 and $15.
For more information on the tournament, please visit www.secbigeastinvitational.com, and stay tuned for more Tampa Bay area events from your Tampa Bay team!