August 5, 2021 

Terps, Gamecocks headline Jimmy V Classic

Games will be broadcast live on ESPN on Dec. 12

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The 2021 Jimmy V Women’s Classic doubleheader is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 12. The games, broadcast live on ESPN, will feature Kentucky v. Louisville (1 p.m. E.T.) followed by Maryland v. South Carolina (3 p.m. E.T.)

To tip off the event, Kentucky will visit the Louisville Cardinals at the KFC Yum! Center. Louisville is riding a four-game winning streak against the Wildcats, including a recent 67-66 nail-biter at Rupp Arena in Dec. 2019. Louisville returns four starters from last year’s team that accomplished an Elite Eight finish in a loss to the eventual national champion Stanford Cardinal.

The in-state rivalry game, which was paused last year due to scheduling restrictions related to the pandemic, is the first for second-year Kentucky head coach Kyra Elzy. Elzy, who previously spent eight overall seasons on Kentucky’s staff as an assistant coach and associate head coach before assuming head coaching responsibilities for the 2020-21 season, led the Wildcats to an 18-9 overall record in her first season in charge. Kentucky leads the overall series against Louisville, which dates back to Dec. 1975, by a record of 34-21.

Immediately following the match-up in the Bluegrass State, the action will shift to Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C., where the Gamecocks will host the Maryland Terrapins in a match-up of perennial powerhouse programs. South Carolina’s only loss at home last season came against N.C. State, ranked in the top ten at the time; overall, they posted a 10-1 record at home. The Gamecocks, poised to make a title run this season, return all 11 members from their 2021 NCAA Final Four team and add four top recruits and a top transfer.

The Terps return all five starters from a star-studded team that finished last season with a disappointing Sweet Sixteen defeat at the hands of Texas. The squad is lead by rising juniors Ashley Owusu and Diamond Miller. After sharing last year’s Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player Award, the duo were named to the 2021 USA Women’s AmeriCup Team that eventually captured the AmeriCup gold medal this summer over host Puerto Rico.

The Jimmy V Classic is named after legendary college men’s basketball coach and former ESPN commentator Jim Valvano. The two early-season events (there is also a men’s basketball tournament) showcase elite basketball programs on ESPN to kick off week-long initiatives across multiple ESPN platforms to raise money for cancer research.

Written by Tee Baker

Tee has been a contributor to The Next since March Madness 2021 and is currently a contributing editor, BIG EAST beat reporter and curator of historical deep dives.

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