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2016 Barclays Center Classic Primer: Maryland Is The Clear Favorite

The Terps anchor a field that also includes Boston College, Kansas State, and Richmond teams that struggled in 2015-16.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

To catch up on all of the posts in this series visit the 2016-17 Early Season Events hub.

What Is It?

The Barclays Center Classic (official website)

How Long Has This Event Been Around?

From last season's primer...

In 2012, the Maryland Terrapins and Kentucky Wildcats headlined the first Barclays Center Classic, which was a round-robin highlighted by an Opening Night doubleheader in Brooklyn, featuring the two power-conference entrants and a matchup between hometown LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds and Morehead State Eagles. (The fifth participant, Lafayette, was left out. Since they hosted the Blackbirds, so the Leopards didn't even get to visit Brooklyn during the event.) The new Brooklyn Hoops Classic will have this round-robin/showcase format.

The 2013 edition was the first with eight teams and a split bracket.

When And Where Is It?

If you like college basketball, Brooklyn's Barclays Center is the place to be on Thanksgiving weekend. The Barclays Center Classic semifinals are scheduled for the evening of Friday, November 25th—after the NIT Season Tip Off's championship and consolation games. Saturday, November 26th features both this event's final doubleheader and the round-robin Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational's showcase game featuring the Syracuse Orange and South Carolina Gamecocks. (I'll discuss that event more in a later piece in this series.)

Before heading to Brooklyn, the four host schools will each welcome a pair of visitors for campus-site games. That quartet will, in turn, head to Towson, Maryland for a four-game bracketed event, which will also take place on November 25th and 26th.

Who's Playing?

The semifinal times aren't set yet, but it's likely the Maryland-Richmond game will be the nightcap.

Maryland
Maryland Terrapins (Big Ten)
vs. 
Richmond Spiders (A 10)
Richmond
Kansas St
Kansas State Wildcats (Big 12) 
vs. 
Boston College Eagles (ACC)
BC

In the past, a school in the New York/New Jersey area has hosted this event's visitors' bracket, but Towson takes the reins this time, not Stony Brook.

Team Road Games Semifinal Opponent
Hampton
Hampton Pirates
(MEAC)
Kansas State
Richmond
Robert Morris
RMU
Robert Morris Colonials
(NEC)
Kansas State
Richmond
Hampton
Stony Brook
Stony Brook Seawolves
(NEC)
Boston College
Maryland
at Towson
Towson
Towson Tigers
(CAA)
Maryland
Boston College
Stony Brook

Logos from SportsLogos.net

Did Any Of These Teams Make The NCAAs or NIT Last Season?

Of the four hosts, only Maryland reached either event, with the Terps losing to the Kansas Jayhawks in the Sweet 16. However, two visitors earned auto bids to the field of 68, with Hampton losing to the Virginia Cavaliers in the First Round and Stony Brook, which finally made its first trip, falling to the Kentucky Wildcats at the same stage.

Towson was the only team to participate in a lower-tier tournament. The Tigers lost to the Oakland Golden Grizzlies in the first round of the Vegas 16.

Have Any Of These Teams Made The Trip Before?

Maryland, which lost to Kentucky by a 72-69 count in the showcase game of the Barclays Center Classic's inaugural edition, immediately returns after the conclusion of the tournament's first four-year cycle.

Any Other Notable Recent Meetings?

Maryland and Boston College were ACC rivals from 2004-05 to 2013-14, with their last meeting as conference-mates occurring in a rare December conference game—an 88-80 Terrapin win at Chestnut Hill.

Stony Brook lost to Maryland by seven in a December 2012 winter break game in College Park. The Seawolves also fell to Boston College in a similarly-scheduled game a season earlier—one of the Eagles nine wins that season.

Richmond last met Hampton on November 15, 2012, recording a 10-point win at the Robins Center. The Spiders thrashed the Pirates by 21 a season earlier.

The Hampton-RMU visitors' bracket semifinal is a rematch of a December 8, 2012 road win for the Colonials, who completed a sweep of a two-year home-and-home series between the two.

Local rivals Towson and Maryland both participated in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic in 2014, but didn't meet, despite their geographic proximity. The Terps did defeat Hampton in that event in 2007, however.

Who Won Last Year?

The Cincinnati Bearcats narrowly defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers and George Washington Colonials to win the fourth edition of the Barclays Center Classic.

In the visitors' bracket, the host Army West Point Black Knights defeated the Arkansas Pine Bluff Golden Lions and Gardner Webb Bulldogs to claim the title.

Did Any 2015 Entrants Make The NCAAs Or NIT?

Only Cincinnati reached the NCAAs, and the Bearcats' stay was short, thanks to a First Round loss to the Saint Joseph's Hawks. Runner-up GW had a more successful postseason, as the Colonials claimed the NIT crown. Further down the postseason ladder, Army West Point fell to the NJIT Highlanders in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament's first round.

Will It Be On TV?

Maybe. After the first two bracketed editions of the Barclays Center Classic appeared on NBCSN, the third edition moved to the patchwork American Sports Network, accompanied by an ESPN3 stream.

TV info for this season's final rounds has yet to be announced (as of early August anyway). Again, the home team's media outlets will air campus-site games, so Maryland's should appear on BTN, for example.

Who Do You Think Will Win?

Maryland looks to be head and shoulders above the other teams in this field, though Kansas State and Richmond had their moments in 2015-16 seasons that redefined "average."

With two NCAA squads, a competitive home team, and a typically decent Robert Morris squad that's looking to rebound from a down year, the visitors' bracket looks more interesting. That's rare in a split-bracket event like this.

Semifinals

Hosts: Maryland over Richmond and Kansas State over Boston College
Visitors: Hampton over Robert Morris and Stony Brook over Towson

Finals

Hosts: Maryland over Kansas State (championship) and Richmond over Boston College (consolation)
Visitors: Stony Brook over Hampton (championship) and Towson over Robert Morris (consolation)

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