Thursday, April 28, 2011

Early Season Invitational Tournaments -- 2011-12

Where the Big East Will Play Their Exempt Games
A post over at John Templon's new blog venture, Big Apple Buckets put me on to Blogging the Bracket's Early Season Invitational page. Chris Dobbertean has pulled together information about the fields for 20 tournaments, along with seven campus-only round robin multi-team events (MTEs) that appear to be in the process of forming fields that qualify for exempt tournament status.

CincinnatiRound Robin Event?4TBD
ConnecticutBattle 4 Atlantis3Nov. 23-27
DePaulOld Spice Classic3Nov. 24, 25 & 27
GeorgetownMaui Invitational4Nov. 21-23 (& campus)
LouisvilleRound Robin Event?4TBD
MarquetteParadise Jam4Nov. 18-21
Notre DameCBE Classic4Nov. 21-22 (& campus)
ProvidenceSouth Padre Invitational4Nov. 25-26 (& campus)
RutgersCancun Challenge4Nov. 14-19 (campus); Nov. 22-23
Seton HallCharleston Classic3Nov. 17, 18, 20
South FloridaHall of Fame Tip-Off4Nov. 12, 14, 19-20
St. John'sCoaches vs. Cancer Classic42 pod; Nov. 17, 18
SyracuseNIT Tip-Off4Nov. 23, 25 (& campus)
Villanova76 Classic3Nov. 24, 25 & 27
West VirginiaLas Vegas Classic3Christmas time?

Notes & Observations1. The two tournaments noted with question marks are unconfirmed, but seem to have varying degrees of certainty per Dobbertean's post of 4/27/11. Cincinnati appears to have a two year commitment to an event named "Global Sports Shootout". This season the games will center on the Bearcats' homecourt at Fifth-Third. Louisville, per Dobbertean, is close to forming/hosting an MTE of it's own out of the KFC Center in Louisville, which makes sense as the arena is brand new and Louisville scheduled quite a few events there last season. Pittsburgh appears to be the only Big East team not committed to an invitational tournament at this time.
2. The Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament will premier this season. Set on Paradise Island, Bahamas, the tournament will feature a possible match-up of Connecticut and Massachusetts. Those two regional rivals have not played since December of 2005. The series, which spanned 100 years and 108 games, has been on "hiatus" for the past five years.
3. The Las Vegas Classic is also new this season, and, like the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii, will be played during the Christmas season, rather than over Thanksgiving. That tournament will also feature a campus-hosted preliminary round that will precede the final two rounds in Las Vegas. Three hosting teams (Baylor, Missouri State and West Virginia) are the only teams committed so far. The sponsors need to find five more teams to fill out the field.
4. Syracuse, a team (like Pittsburgh) with a reputation for staying close to home in the season's first two months, will, according to Dobbertean (via John Rothstein), participate in the NIT Tip-Off. The preliminary round(s) are hosted at a campus site (perfect for the Carrier Dome), with the semi-finals and finals at Madison Square Garden, and that fits Syracuse's preferences to a tee.
5. Villanova will participate in the 76 Classic in Anaheim, California over the Thanksgiving Weekend. The field...

TeamConf TeamConf
Boston CollegeACC New MexicoMWC
OklahomaBig 12 UC RiversideBig West
Saint LouisA-10 Santa ClaraWCC
Washington St.PAC-10

Five teams in the field won 20 or more games in 2010, while Oklahoma will have a new coach. Featured coaches in the field include Saint Louis' Rick Majerus and Villanova's Jay Wright, both of whom have been to the Final Four.
6. Coming into May, the fields for only nine of the 20 tournaments listed at Blogging the Bracket are filled. Several of the campus + travel tournaments have yet to even fill out their "host" brackets, while several have identified half or less of their projected field. Commitments for these tournaments used to be given years in advance, and it was not uncommon for the field in the coming year to be announced at the end of the tournament. This off season there seem to be more than the usual number of open/available spots in a few of the more prestigious -- the Charleston Classic, the CvC Classic and the CBE for example -- which makes me wonder if the exempt tournament niche has reached the saturation point. The first wave of tournaments after exempt tournaments no longer needed to apply for waivers from the NCAA forced a number of the more exotic locations (Top of the World Shootout) out of the field. Will there be a similar shakeout in the next season or two?


John said...

Thanks for the shout out! The Puerto Rico Tip-Off field is out and it doesn't include a single Big East team. This is odd, but still a really good field. Wonder what Pitt is going to do to fill its time now.

greyCat said...

Thanks for the note John. Will edit to reflect Pittburghs' status.