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Basketball Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase to Feature UMass, Ole Miss

SPRINGFIELD — The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced a matchup between the UMass and University of Mississippi men’s basketball teams for its 2015 Holiday Showcase to be held at the MassMutual Center in Springfield on Saturday, Dec. 5.

“Now in its fifth year, the Holiday Showcase has become a favorite with the basketball fans of Springfield,” said John Doleva, president and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “We sincerely value our partnership with the University of Massachusetts, which allows this event to return to the MassMutual Center here in Springfield year after year. We are looking forward to another exciting contest this December.”

UMass is coming off a 17-15 season — its fourth-consecutive winning campaign — and has participated in postseason play in three of the last four years. The Minutemen are expected to return seven letter winners and two starters from a year ago. Springfield native and UMass alum Derek Kellogg is entering his eighth season in Amherst and has won 126 games, including 87 over the past four years.

“We always enjoy playing in Springfield. The crowds are good and bring energy every time we are there,” Kellogg said. “Ole Miss is a strong program that competes on a national level and has been to the NCAA tournament twice in the last three years. We are looking forward to having a team of their caliber on the schedule next season.”

In conjunction with the Holiday Showcase, the Basketball Hall of Fame will also host the sixth annual Springfield Rotary Service Above Self Luncheon on Friday, Dec. 4 on the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Jerry Colangelo Court of Dreams. Other community-based events are tentatively planned.

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