NCAA basketball: Rating the early season tournaments
The pairings for all NCAA men’s early season basketball tournaments were announced on Aug. 8.
This article is part one of four articles that will rank all 23 NCAA Exempt Tournaments. This article will look at the top five tournaments.
The Battle 4 Atlantis is loaded with top teams and includes 12 teams. The tournament will take place Nov. 26-28 at Imperial Arena in Paradise Island , Bahamas while campus site games will occur (Nov. 15, 16, 18, 21, 22). Subregional games will be played on Nov. 26-27.
Four of the teams in the field could be ranked in the initial top-25 rankings (UNC, Wisconsin, Florida and Oklahoma).UAB, Georgetown, UCLA and Butler round out the field.
First round matchups: Wisconsin versus UAB and Florida versus Georgetown on one side of the bracket. UCLA versus Oklahoma and Butler versus North Carolina are on the other side of the bracket.
The other four teams involved will be Chattanooga, Coastal Carolina, UL-Monroe and Robert Morris.
Best first round matchup: UCLA vs. Oklahoma.
Most intriguing potential second round matchup: Wisconsin vs. Florida
The Maui Invitational features 12 teams but only eight of them will be making the trip to Maui. The other four teams are involved in the Maui Invitational on the Mainland. There will also be campus site games. The quarterfinal through the finals will be televised ESPN’s family of networks (Nov. 24-26).
The eight Maui teams are Arizona, BYU, Chaminade (D-II), Kansas State, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Purdue and San Diego State. The other four teams are Cal State- Northridge, Samford Arkansas-Little Rock and UM-Kansas City.
Any tournament that features a potential top-three preseason squad (Arizona) is worth watching. Kansas State, Pittsburgh and San Diego State should be solid.
Quarterfinals matchups: Purdue vs. Kansas State, Missouri vs. Arizona, Pittsburgh vs. Chaminade, BYU vs. San Diego State,
Best quarterfinal matchup: BYU vs. San Diego State/ Missouri vs. Arizona
Best potential semifinal matchup: Kansas State vs. Arizona/ Pittsburgh vs. San Diego State.
The Legends Classic features eight teams and some games will be televised on the ESPN family of networks. The games will be played on campus sites (Nov. 17-21), in Detroit (Nov. 24-25) for the Subregionals and Brooklyn for the semifinals and finals (Nov. 24-25)
The eight teams are Michigan, Oregon, VCU, Villanova, Bucknell, Detroit, UM-Eastern Shore and Toledo. Michigan, Oregon, VCU and Oregon will play in the tournament’s semifinals and finals.
Semifinals (Nov. 24) in Brooklyn: Villanova vs. VCU, Michigan vs. Oregon
Best semifinal matchup: Villanova vs. VCU
Best potential championship matchup: Villanova/VCU vs. Michigan
The Orlando Classic features two of the best programs in college basketball Kansas and Michigan State. However, the rest of the field is questionable but several team are from the power conferences. Georgia Tech, Marquette, Rhode Island, Rider, Santa Clara and Tennessee rounds out the field.
The quarterfinals start on Nov. 27 at Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The tournament runs Nov. 27-30 and will be televised on the ESPN family of networks.
Quarterfinal matchups: Santa Clara vs. Tennessee, Kansas vs. Rhode Island, Michigan State vs. Rider and Marquette vs. Georgia Tech.
Best quarterfinal matchup: Marquette vs. Georgia Tech
Best potential semifinal matchup: Kansas vs. Tennessee/ Michigan State vs. Marquette or Georgia Tech.
The eight-to-12 team 2K Classic will take place on campus sites with the semifinals being played at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 20 and 21. The semifinals will be televised by ESPN.
While the field has not been finalized, Syracuse, California, Texas and Iowa will play in the semifinals. Which should make for a great two games. South Dakota State is also known to be participating in the event.
Texas and Iowa will play in one semifinal while Syracuse will battle with California in the other semifinal.
Best semifinal matchup: Texas vs. Iowa
Best potential championship matchup: Syracuse vs. Texas.