To catch up on all of the posts in this series visit the 2017-18 Early Season Events Hub.
This is the second of two entries delivering quick hits on this season’s round-robin (or quasi-round-robin) multi-team events. While the first focused on events held at multiple sites, this one previews those held at a single-site, usually an on-campus one, over a three-day span.
I’ve ordered these fields by their respective field strength based on their average four-year Team Scores.
Homewood Suites FGCU Shootout
Over the past five seasons, the FGCU Eagles have played at least part of four MTEs in Southwest Florida. Last season, Joe Dooley’s squad swept the Binghamton Bearcats and Long Beach State 49ers to win the Battle 4 Atlantis Mainland bracket for the second time—both as host. But FGCU’s last on-campus round-robin event, played at Alico Arena in November 2015, ended with a loss to Bowling Green.
Wright State MTE
This will be the fifth round-robin event for the host Wright State Raiders since the 2012-13 season—and the second in a row they’ve hosted at the Nutter Center. Last year, Scott Nagy’s outfit took out 2016 NCAA entrant Cal State Bakersfield, 2016 NIT squad North Florida and 2016 CollegeInsider.com qualifier North Dakota to win a trophy. November 2017’s lineup of the 16-15 Fairfield Stags, 19-14 Gardner-Webb Bulldogs, and 17-16 Jacksonville Dolphins isn’t quite so formidable, even if the MAAC and ASUN reps both reached for the CollegeInsider event (and the Bulldogs very well could have).
This event will also extend JU’s streak of round-robin participations to three.
Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic
The Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions are regular visitors to the Stan Sheriff Center—2017 will make four trips in a row and six since 2011. This will also be the Lions’ third participation in the host Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors’ other exempt tournament over the last six seasons, though this event won’t count as such for either UAPB or the Troy Trojans, both of whom are also participating in round-robin multi-site events on the Mainland. But the presence of last season’s Sun Belt and Big Sky champions—yes, the North Dakota Fighting Hawks are here too—gives this round-robin a pair of NCAA reps.
Hawai’i has won 12 and lost three in the last five Rainbow Classics, including a pair of victories over UAPB.
Unfortunately, with no Tip-Off Marathon on ESPN this year, there won’t be a Tuesday 4 a.m. Eastern time tip to showcase the final game of this tournament.
Black & Gold Shootout
The Milwaukee Panthers almost qualified for the 2017 NCAA Tournament as the longest of longshots. Had they defeated the Northern Kentucky Norse in the Horizon final, LaVall Jordan’s squad would have surely been destined for Dayton as a 12-win squad. Now Jordan is back home at Butler and Milwaukee will host a four-team round-robin this November. Yes, that’s four teams, not just the three pictured here. Non-Division I Concordia-St. Paul will join a field rounded out by the 18-14 Elon Phoenix (which won a round-robin tournament at Northern Illinois in 2016) and the 7-24 FIU Golden Panthers (who were swept out of the South Alabama-hosted event Jacksonville also participated in).
Last season, Milwaukee went 1-2 in their participation in the next event on this list.
Sanford Pentagon Showcase
With no Challenge In Music City on this season’s MTE list, the Sanford Pentagon Showcase in Sioux Falls, South Dakota is the lone neutral-site round-robin scheduled for the 2017-18 season. Of course, it won’t truly be a neutral-site for the South Dakota Coyotes. Last season’s Summit League regular season champs will look to do better than their in-state rivals, the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, did in going 1-2 in 2016’s edition. And with that goal in mind, the 11-win Northern Colorado Bears , 9-victory Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, and 13-win Youngstown State Penguins should provide a bit less resistance for the ‘Yotes.
For the second season in a row the USC Upstate Spartans and Creek Classic host Campbell Fighting Camels are in the same round-robin. In December 2016, the Spartans topped the Camels after OT in the second game of an event hosted by The Citadel Bulldogs, who joined Campbell and USC Upstate at 2-1. (The Colgate Raiders got swept.)
The Bowling Green Falcons also have plenty of recent round-robin experience—going 1-2 in an event hosted last season, and stunning FGCU on the final night of the Eagles’ 2015 tournament. But this will be the first-ever such event for the Abilene Christian Wildcats, as the Southland squad’s two prior MTE participations have been as a visitor in split-bracket tournaments.
UNCG Spartan Classic
The UNC Greensboro Spartans, 2017’s SoCon regular season champion and an NIT participant, host the lowest-ranked event of this group. The Spartans’ 25-wins can’t compensate for the presence of non-Division I North Carolina Wesleyan (not pictured) in the main field or for the relative lack of quality of the other two D1 participants.
The Delaware Blue Hens (13-20 in 2016-17) will look to improve upon their 1-2 participation in Miami (Ohio)‘s event last season. Meanwhile, after skipping an exempt event last fall, the Longwood Lancers (6-24) return to a round-robin after going 1-5 in a pair held in November 2014 and 2015.