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TV/streaming info from the event websites and MattSarzSports.com. All times are Eastern.
Tip Time Schedule
Thursday, November 15
|Tip Time (ET)||Event||Matchup||Teams||TV/Streaming||KenPom Fan Match Rank|
|Tip Time (ET)||Event||Matchup||Teams||TV/Streaming||KenPom Fan Match Rank|
|11:30 a.m.||Charleston Classic||Quarterfinal||Ball State vs. Virginia Tech||ESPN2||7|
|11:30 a.m.||Myrtle Beach Invitational||Quarterfinal||Saint Joseph's vs. Wake Forest||ESPNU||6|
|2 p.m. (approx.)||Charleston Classic||Quarterfinal||Alabama vs. Northeastern||ESPNU||4|
|2 p.m. (approx.)||Myrtle Beach Invitational||Quarterfinal||UCF vs. Cal State Fullerton||ESPN3||10|
|5 p.m.||Charleston Classic||Quarterfinal||Purdue vs. Appalachian State||ESPN2||22|
|5 p.m.||Myrtle Beach Invitational||Quarterfinal||Valparaiso vs. WKU||ESPNU||9|
|6 p.m.||Junkanoo Jam||Round-Robin||Cal State Bakersfield vs. Central Michigan||FloHoops.com ($)||15|
|7 p.m.||2K Empire Classic||Semifinal||Syracuse vs. UConn||ESPN2||11|
|7:30 p.m. (approx.)||Myrtle Beach Invitational||Quarterfinal||Monmouth vs. West Virginia||ESPNU||24|
|7:30 p.m. (approx.)||Charleston Classic||Quarterfinal||Wichita State vs. Davidson||ESPN3||5|
|8:30 p.m. (approx.)||Junkanoo Jam||Round-Robin||San Jose State vs. Weber State||FloHoops.com ($)||25|
|9:30 p.m. (approx.)||2K Empire Classic||Semifinal||Oregon vs. Iowa||ESPN2||1|
Today’s schedule sees the start of bracketed action for a new event that’s not quite a newcomer, a rebranded tournament in New York, and a new round-robin in the Bahamas that has an interesting format. But we’ll start with the Charleston Classic, which is the same as it ever was.
Ball State Cardinals (1-1) vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (1-0), 11:30 a.m. (ESPN2)
Alabama Crimson Tide (2-0) vs. Northeastern Huskies (1-1), approx. 2 p.m. (ESPNU)
Purdue Boilermakers (2-0) vs. Appalachian State Mountaineers (1-1), 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
Wichita State Shockers (1-1) vs. Davidson Wildcats (2-0), approx. 7:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
Other than Davidson, victorious in just one of the six games its played in its pair of appearances in this event, a trip to South Carolina’s Lowcountry will be a new experience for the remainder of this season’s Charleston field. However, every single entrant has participated in at least one other ESPN-run tournament in recent seasons. Most intriguingly, Alabama defeated Wichita State and Purdue on the final two days of its run to the 2011 Puerto Rico Tip-Off championship. Yet the potential of a 2018 NCAA Tournament rematch with Virginia Tech is a bit more relevant for this bracket, particularly with the Tide and Hokies set to meet on Friday if their results match this afternoon. And they’re just two of the five 2018 NCAA qualifiers here—Davidson meets Wichita State in the nightcap, with one of those teams guaranteed to meet Purdue, a Sweet Sixteen team last March, on day two.
In the two non-bracketed games completed, Purdue pulled away from Ball State late on Saturday in West Lafayette, while Alabama did the same to Appalachian State on Sunday in Tuscaloosa. Northeastern will visit Davidson on November 24th to complete that pair’s participation in the event.
Saint Joseph’s Hawks (2-0) vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (1-0), 11:30 a.m. (ESPNU)
UCF Knights (1-1) vs. Cal State Fullerton Titans (1-1), approx. 2 p.m. (ESPN3)
Valparaiso Crusaders (1-0) vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (1-1), 5 p.m. (ESPNU)
Monmouth Hawks (0-3) vs. West Virginia Mountaineers (0-1), approx. 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Originally, this field was ticketed for the Caribbean, as the Puerto Rico Tip-Off was supposed to return home this November after two years away. But thanks to the continued recovery on the island, that won’t happen until 2019. Instead, six of the original seven teams ticketed for Fajardo (Arkansas backed out in favor of the on-campus Hardwood Showcase it’s co-anchoring with Indiana) will take part in this new tournament, the result of the Grand Strand’s success in filling in for Puerto Rico a season ago. Note that the event doesn’t take place in Myrtle Beach itself, but rather at the HTC Center on Coastal Carolina‘s campus, a 30-to-45-minute drive away.
Despite a Friday loss to Buffalo, West Virginia is the overwhelming favorite here, though the Mountaineers could be tested by WKU on day two, provided the two both win or lose in this evening’s quarterfinal doubleheader. The top half is a little more open, particularly with UCF, the American Athletic favorite for some, having lost to FAU, at home on Sunday. The Knights’ matchup with the Big West champs from Fullerton, the event’s other 2018 NCAA qualifier, might just result in an early shock.
Bob Huggins’ Mountaineers are in search of their fourth championship in an ESPN-run event, having played in the title game of five of their previous six trips. Wake Forest, winner of the second 76/Anaheim Classic in 2008, is the only other entrant to have taken a trophy home from one of these tournaments.
On Monday night, Saint Joe’s thrashed Monmouth, 78-63, in the first official non-bracketed game of the event. I say ‘official’ because WKU’s first win of the season came against UT Martin Skyhawks on Saturday in a “waiver” game in Bowling Green. One non-bracketed contest remains, as Valpo goes to West Virginia on Saturday, November 24th to complete this season’s inaugural Myrtle Beach Invitational.
The 2K Empire Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project now has a modified name that better reflects its home of New York. In 2018’s regional round matchups, there have been no surprises so far, though Oregon still has to play Green Bay after its return to the West Coast. Even though Syracuse is the only participant that reached the NCAAs last March, there’s plenty of hope for the new season across the board. UConn has a new coach in Dan Hurley, while Oregon is the Pac-12 favorite and Iowa is expected to challenge for a postseason berth in what’s likely to be an improved Big Ten.
Tonight’s first semifinal will be the fourth consecutive neutral-site meeting for former conference rivals Syracuse and UConn, with the Orange holding a two-games-to-one advantage in the prior three. While the pair’s first post-Big East meeting came in the 2015 Battle 4 Atlantis semifinals, they’ve met in each of the last two seasons at Madison Square Garden, which happens to be the 2K Empire Classic’s home. UConn won a 52-50 contest in 2016, while Syracuse took a 72-63 decision last December.
As for Oregon and Iowa, their series isn’t quite so storied. The Ducks’ first win over the Hawkeyes (after five losses) came in the 2012 NIT second round.
Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners (1-1) vs. Central Michigan Chippewas (2-0), 6 p.m. (FloHoops.com ($))
San Jose Staté Spartans (1-1) vs. Weber State Wildcats (1-1), approx. 8:30 p.m. (FloHoops.com ($))
After running the women’s Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas for 15 years, Basketball Travelers, Inc. decided to launch a pair of men’s tournaments this season—a men’s version of the Junkanoo Jam, which begins tonight, and the Bimini Jam, which tips tomorrow. Both events feature a quartet of teams, with one from the Mountain West—the events’ common sponsoring conference—in each. Even though these tournaments are technically round-robin events, the matchups aren’t set in advance, as you’d expect. Instead, the results of the first day’s games will set in motion the order and timing of the remaining contests.
- Tonight’s winners will play each other on Friday night, following the Bimini Jam’s opening doubleheader.
- Tonight’s losers, on the other hand, will play again Saturday, before the Bimini Jam’s Day 1 winners meet.
- The event wraps up on Sunday with all four teams in action, with Friday’s loser playing the first game of the closing doubleheader.
Tonight’s first matchup is a rematch of the final Great Alaska Shootout championship game, won by Central Michigan, 75-72. Meanwhile, this will be the second consecutive exempt event in the Bahamas for Weber State, who went 1-2 in the inaugural Islands of the Bahamas Showcase last November. Coincidentally, the Wildcats also defeated CMU, 63-60, in the quarterfinals of the Gulf Coast Showcase in 2015.
Note that while the four participants have a combined for a 5-3 record, only one of those victories—Central Michigan’s over woeful Chicago State—came against Division I opposition.