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Big 4 Basketball Classic Buffalo Niagara Canisius Saint Bonaventure

If you're going to play games at a neutral site, make it something worthwhile. Last season UB did just that with the "Clash at the Ralph" which saw more than 20,000 fans shovel off to Ralph Wilson Stadium on the day after Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately the game between UB and Canisius last season did not capture the same interest as the Clash at the Ralph. The main reason was despite some of the Big 4 teams playing at the center it did not "feel" like a Buffalo centered event, perhaps because Saint Bonaventure stayed home while the Purps played Davidson.

This year that has been remedied with the "Big Four Basketball Classic". It's the first time in more than 15 years all four teams have played under one roof, and also just the fourth time in history such a slate has been played. So calling it a classic *might* be a bit of a stretch but with some luck, local interest, and good attendance maybe this can become a yearly thing.

The first Big 4 basketball doubleheader was played in downtown Buffalo in 1996, when 12,508 fans saw Niagara play Buffalo while the Griffs took on the Bonnies in the evening.

This year Niagara will play Bonaventure at 2 p.m., followed by Canisius-UB at (roughly) 4:15. The event is the Saturday following Thanksgiving, so students should be back in town. Tickets start at $20 and are good for both games; floor seats will be $30.