Basketball and increasing funds and awareness for The V Foundation for Cancer Research – two of ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale’s biggest passions in life – will converge tonight in Madison Square Garden when No. 7 Villanova takes on Illinois (7 ET, ESPN) and Indiana plays No. 4 Louisville (9 ET, ESPN) in the Jimmy V Men’s Classic.
Tonight’s games will serve as the culmination of ESPN’s Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research.
It will be the 20th annual doubleheader matching the nation’s premier teams to raise monies for the charity named in honor of Vitale’s former ESPN colleague Jim Valvano, who passed away from the disease in 1993.
Vitale was at the ESPYs in 1993 to present Valvano with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award and has made it a life mission to do his part in beating cancer. That includes calling Jimmy V Men’s Classic telecasts and his annual between-game speech to the fans in The Garden.
Vitale took some time from his schedule to speak with Front Row about the significance of the Classics.
Video produced by Mike Humes and Rachel Siegal