The University of Minnesota is playing its role in helping the Big Ten's reach extend eastward.
The school announced Wednesday that the Gophers will participate in a hockey-men's basketball "Super Saturday" doubleheader in New York in 2018.
Both games will be held at Manhattan's Madison Square Garden on Jan. 20, 2018. The Gophers will take on Ohio State in basketball and Michigan State in hockey.
Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney's has made obvious his desire to enter the East Coast market, particularly as the league added Maryland and Rutgers and announced that the 2018 conference tournament would be played at Madison Square Garden.
"With the Big Ten tournament scheduled to be played at Madison Square Garden later that year, it will give our team valuable experience on the court there," Gophers basketball coach Richard Pitino said in a statement. "Our guys will be excited to play at one of basketball's greatest venues."
Pitino has coached the Gophers at Madison Square Garden on two occasions, winning the NIT in 2014 and competing in the NIT Season Tipoff tournament in November of the following season. His teams won three of their four games there.
The men's hockey team will be making its first appearance at the current Madison Square Garden.
"We're certainly looking forward to playing in the World's Most Famous Arena," hockey coach Don Lucia said in the statement. "Madison Square Garden is an iconic venue for a hockey game, and we want our players and fans to enjoy memorable experiences like this one as often as possible."
The Big Ten will play the first of its Madison Square Garden doubleheaders Saturday, when Michigan and Pen State will meet in basketball and hockey.
The rest of the doubleheader details: In January 2017, it's Wisconsin vs. Rutgers in basketball, Wisconsin vs. Ohio State in hockey, and in 2019 Illinois will play Maryland in basketball, and the hockey opponents are to be determined.