2016-17 Top College Basketball Tournaments
The 2016 national championship is officially further behind us than the first game of the 2016-17 regular season (Nov. 11) is just right around the corner, so it’s time to start making plans for those November and December tournaments.
Dates: November 17-18
Location: Madison Square Garden
Top Teams Competing: Pittsburgh, SMU, Marquette and Michigan
NCAA Tournament participants Michigan and Pittsburgh along with Marquette and SMU headline the 22nd annual 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project, which returns to Madison Square Garden this coming November. Michigan, Pittsburgh, Marquette, and SMU combine for an 82-33 record this season and 94 NCAA Tournament appearances, including 12 Final Fours. Each of these four teams will host a pair of regional round games on campus before heading to the World’s Most Famous Arena on Nov. 17-18. Pittsburgh will face SMU and new coach Tim Jankovich, and Michigan meets Marquette in the semifinals.
Dates: November 21-22
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Top Teams Competing: Notre Dame, Colorado, Texas and Northwestern
The Legends Classic at the world famous Barclays Center in Brooklyn is just one of those basketball tournaments that you have to make it out to sooner or later, as it’s always absolutely packed to the brim with exciting hoops played by some of the best players the game has to offer. This is a tournament that only draws in the very best of the best, as the Legends Classic is where the powerhouse programs in the nation come together to put on a show early in the basketball season. The Legends Classic is returning to Barclays Center on November 21 and 22, 2016, featuring some of the nation’s top men’s college basketball talents from Notre Dame, Texas, Colorado and Northwestern.
Puerto Rico Tip-off
Dates: November 17-20
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Top Teams Competing: Clemson, Davidson, Missouri, Xavier, Arizona State, Northern Iowa, Tulane and Oklahoma
At first glance, this looks like one of the strongest tournaments. Xavier is certainly a preseason Top 25 team, Clemson and Oklahoma will both be right on the fringe of that first poll, and Davidson could be the best team in the A-10 in Jack Gibbs’ final year.
Hall of Fame Tip-off
Dates: November 19-20
Location: Uncasville, Connecticut
Top Teams Competing: Duke, Penn State, Cincinnati and Rhode Island
Duke is the clear favorite to win the 2017 national championship and the even clearer favorite to win this tournament. In Frank Jackson, Grayson Allen, Jayson Tatum, Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, Duke’s entire starting five (if that’s the one Mike Krzyzewski goes with) may open the season on the official watch list for the Wooden Award. It’s ridiculous how much talent the Blue Devils have, and whether you love or hate them, you’ll want to watch this team as much as possible in 2016-17.
Battle 4 Atlantis
Dates: November 23-25
Location: Paradise Island, Bahamas
Top Teams Competing: Michigan State, St. John’s, Baylor, VCU, LSU, Wichita State, Louisville and Old Dominion
Michigan State will be the favorite to win the Battle 4 Atlantis and will face the most intriguing potential path of any team encountered thus far on this list. After the opener against a St. John’s team in rapid rebuilding mode, the Spartans will likely draw a pair of preseason Top 25 teams in Baylor and Louisville—provided those teams can even get that far.
Dates: November 21-23
Location: Lahaina, Hawaii
Top Teams Competing: Tennessee, Wisconsin, Georgetown, Oregon, Connecticut, Oklahoma State, North Carolina and Chaminade
This field is downright ridiculous.
North Carolina, Oregon and Wisconsin should each open the 2016-17 season ranked in the Top 10. Connecticut and Georgetown might not make the Top 25, but they should both get votes. Oklahoma State is a breakout candidate with a healthy Jawun Evans and Phil Forte. Tennessee should be moderately competitive in Rick Barnes’ second season at the helm. And there’s always the chance/hope that Chaminade will shock the world by beating a D-I opponent. Maybe you won’t want to watch the battle for seventh place, but that’s about the only game of the Maui Invitational you can afford to miss.