This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive listing of the preseason tournaments, rather just the best ones, but if you feel like we omitted something relevant, link to it in the comments. And against our better judgment, we’re putting those ridiculous CBE and Legends Classic “brackets” into the post as well. Losers.
The 2kSports Coaches v. Cancer tips off the season with games beginning on Nov. 10. Duke, S. Illinois, UCLA and Michigan are expected to make it to the semis at MSG, but don’t sleep on UMass or Northeastern as spoilers.
The Maui Invitational, on the Mon-Wed of Thanksgiving week, as usual, shouldn’t disappoint. There are at least five NCAA teams here, and UNC-Notre Dame in the finals could be seen again in late March or early April.
Another Thanksgiving week classic, the Preseason NIT, with the semis on the Wednesday prior to the holiday and the finals on Friday night, is a little weaker than normal. But any chance to see Stephen Curry on the big stage at MSG is worth watching, so let’s all root for Davidson to pull off the second-round upset over Oklahoma. A number of teams could win this tourney, but we guess Purdue is most likely? Arizona? Cornell?
The Old Spice Classic is a newer tournament also airing during Thanksgiving weekend, but what a great lineup! There are literally no bad teams here – all eight could be playing in March Madness 2009, and it would be a huge disappointment if any fewer than six do. We like Siena to pull the upsets to play Gonzaga in the finals there, with mid-major glory all around.
The Anaheim Classic is another ESPN property airing during Thanksgiving weekend – the lineup is solid, although not as strong as the Old Spice. We like the young Deacs to play run-n-gun Baylor in the finals.
Sigh… here is the “Championship Round” bracket for the Legends Classic. Remember, each of these teams has already been slotted into these spots no matter what happens in the previous two rounds of this ‘tournament.’ So… disgustingly… weak. Pitt should roll here no matter what happens in the other game.
Along the same lines, the CBE Classic is so lame that they won’t even give us a bracket to put up for you. The matchups aren’t bad, but we’re still bitter (see Legends Classic). We like Florida and Kansas to play in the final, with UF taking the title.
(November 24 – 7:30 ET)
Syracuse vs. Florida- ESPN2
Kansas vs Washington- ESPN2
(November 25 – 7:45 ET)
Consolation Game- ESPNU
Championship Game- ESPN2
Any others? We’ll revisit these when they actually start, but we wanted to get them all in one post as part of the preview.