USF Men’s Basketball Game vs. Charlotte Sunday Cancelled

(Tampa, FL) The USF men’s basketball game scheduled for yesterday (Sunday, Dec. 9) at Charlotte was cancelled due to travel difficulties associated with the winter storm expected throughout the state of North Carolina.

The teams have agreed to discuss possible dates to reschedule the contest.

USF returns to the hardwood on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 1 p.m.when the Bulls host Appalachian State at the Yuengling Center in Tampa.





Sarasota Jazz Project “Big-Band Jazz Christmas” Concert in Port Charlotte December 17

(Sarasota, FL) The Sarasota Jazz Project Orchestra will present “A Big Band Jazz Christmas,” on Monday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m. at the William H. Wakeman III, Cultural Center Theater, 2280 Aaron Street, Port Charlotte.

“We’ll be serving up a delightful mixture of favorite holiday standards and traditional carols, all to a swinging big-band beat,” said George McLain, leader and saxophone player. The playlist includes a hip rendition of “We Three Kings” and a shout-it-out “Hark the Herald Angels.”

Two musical stars return from previous shows at the Cultural Center to further enliven the concert. Miami jazz singer Lisanne Lyons warms up the stage with “Santa Baby” and “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm.” The Sarasota High School graduate, recipient of two DownBeat awards, was a featured soloist with Air Force bands worldwide while serving active duty, including Air Force Academy Falconcaires. She has also performed nationally with Joel Grey, Woody Herman Orchestra, Maynard Ferguson Band, Arturo Sandoval, Larry Elgart, University of Miami Concert Jazz Band, Fort Worth Symphony, Harry James Orchestra, and many more. Lisanne is a recipient of 2 Down Beat awards. She currently serves as Director of Jazz Vocal Studies at Florida International University.

Art Hallett adds his powerful voice with a funky version of a great Christmas spiritual, “Go Tell It on the Mountain.” The Detroit-influenced singer presents this and other songs that have been part of his outreach during his 25 years as director of Evangelism Explosion Prison Ministries, where he works to prepare incarcerated men and women for re-entering society. Rev. Hallett has recorded more than 12 CDs that display his immense talent.

“As always, Sarasota Jazz Project presents the best jazz soloists on the West Coast of Florida,” McLain said. Among the 16 band members are Kevin Celebi on trumpet, Pete Barenbregge on sax and Davit DeWitt on trombone.

Reservations are recommended for the concerts, which begin at 7:00 p.m. Admission is $17 for members of the Port Charlotte Cultural Center and $19 for nonmembers. Tickets are available by phone at 941-625-4175, online by clicking the “buy tickets” tab at www.theculturalcenter.com or at the door, 2280 Aaron Street, Port Charlotte.
Future concerts in the Monday night series will be held on January 21, February 18, March 25 and April 22.

Over its 8-year history the Sarasota Jazz Project Orchestra has become known as the premier big band of the Gulf Coast. Its performers, some of the area’s best jazz musicians, perform classic and contemporary big band music in a concert setting. Members hail from counties up and down the Gulf Coast, from Largo to Fort Myers. The band has appeared with numerous jazz greats, played in significant venues, and performed countless concerts, often for the Charlotte County Jazz Society and the Jazz Club of Sarasota. The band will release its third CD, The Best of Friends, this month. To learn more about the Sarasota Jazz Project, visit its website at www.SarasotaJazzProject.org.





Outback Bowl Matchup: Iowa vs. Mississippi State January 1 in Tampa

(Tampa, FL) The Iowa Hawkeyes and No. 18 Mississippi State Bulldogs will square-off for the first time in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day in Tampa, bowl officials announced Sunday. Both teams are 8-4. It will be the first time these teams have played in 119+ seasons of their football history. It will also be the first appearance by Mississippi State in the Outback Bowl.

“We are thrilled to extend an invitation to Iowa and Mississippi State to play in this year’s Outback Bowl,” said Outback Bowl Chairman Todd Timmerman. “These are two quality teams that should produce a terrific match-up that fans are really going to enjoy watching on New Year’s Day. We look forward to hosting the Hawkeye and Bulldog teams and their fans, and ensure them they will have an amazing experience in the Tampa Bay area.”

“I am thrilled for our team and our tremendous group of seniors who have earned the opportunity to go out with a New Year’s Day bowl in the state of Florida,” MSU head coach Joe Moorhead said. “The Outback Bowl is the perfect destination for our team. I have always had tremendous respect for Coach Ferentz and his Iowa teams.”

“We are excited to accept a bid to our first Outback Bowl to cap off Joe Moorhead’s successful first season as our head football coach,” MSU Director of Athletics John Cohen said. “I want to congratulate our team and our coaching staff for earning our program’s ninth straight bowl appearance. This team featured college football’s best defense and demonstrated overall improvement throughout the year, as shown by winning four of its last five games, including a dominant win in a rivalry game to finish the regular season. Tampa is a great city, with an endless number of entertainment opportunities for our fans, and we always look forward to playing in an NFL stadium. I encourage our Bulldog family to pack Raymond James Stadium and send our senior class out the right way.”

“Our football team, coaches, and staff are excited to be invited to the 2019 Outback Bowl,” said Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz. “We know we will enjoy outstanding hospitality, and we know we will face a quality opponent from the SEC. This is a great reward for how hard our players have worked and the success they have enjoyed this season.”

The Outback Bowl will be played on January 1st at 12:00 PM ET at Raymond James Stadium.

For information on Outback Bowl events leading up to the game go to the bowl web site at www.outbackbowl.com.





USF Bulls to Play Marshall in Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa December 20th

(Tampa, FL) The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl will feature USF (7-5, 3-5) from the American Athletic Conference and Marshall (8-4, 6-2) from Conference USA, as both teams have accepted invitations to play in this year’s game.

The 11th edition of the bowl game will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Thursday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.m. ET and air on ESPN.

USF, which started the season 7-0 and earned a top 20 ranking, will be appearing in its hometown bowl for the second time. The Bulls played in the inaugural bowl game in 2008 as the Big East Conference representative and defeated Memphis 41-14. USF head coach Charlie Strong is also making his second trip to the bowl game. Strong was a rookie head coach at Louisville in 2010 and capped off his first year leading the Cardinals to a 31-28 win over Southern Mississippi.

“We are excited for the opportunity to compete in a bowl game against a good opponent and the chance to send our seniors out with a third straight bowl win,” Strong said. “We look forward to some good practices and work with our team to prepare for the game. Our players will enjoy the activities and bowl experience here in the Bay Area and they are excited to get back out on the field and perform in front of our fans.”

Marshall will be making its third appearance at the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl. The Thundering Herd defeated UConn 16-10 in 2015 and FIU 20-10 in 2011. Marshall finished the season winning three of its last four games.

“Any opportunity to play in a bowl game is great,” said Marshall head coach Doc Holliday. “The state of Florida has been good to our program for several years now and we’re excited to get back down to the Tampa area. We will face a very good South Florida team and a head coach that I know well in Charlie Strong.”

“We’re expecting lots of green clad fans at Raymond James Stadium,” said Brett Dulaney, Executive Director of the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl. “We hope USF fans will be excited with the opportunity to stay at home to see their team in a bowl and Marshall has been well represented by their fan base both times they’ve been here.”

The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl is owned-and-operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN.

While the game is the headliner event, the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl activities start a few days prior. This year the teams, their alumni and students will start arriving in Tampa on Sunday, Dec., 16, for the numerous bowl-related festivities leading up to kick-off. These events, which are free and open to the public, include the Beach Invasion (Dec. 16 – Treasure Island Park), Battle of the Bands (Dec. 18 – Treasure Island Park), Pep Rally (Dec. 19 – Armature Works) and the Fan Invasion (Dec. 20 – Raymond James Stadium).

For more information on the 2018 Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl game and the numerous events, visit www.gasparillabowl.com. Additionally, follow the bowl on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@GasparillaBowl).