Nike has done so much for some of the nation’s leading college basketball programs. Several of the top programs across the country don the infamous Nike Swoosh on their jerseys and apparel, and the marketing done by both sides has been a huge success.
On Wednesday, the NCAA and ESPN Events announced an early-season event that will pay homage to Nike co-founder and chairman, Phil Knight, during the 2017-18 season.
The Phil Knight Invitational will see 16 schools from all across the country, who are all sponsored by Nike, converge on the Portland area for two early-season tournaments in celebration of Knight’s 80th birthday.
The Diamond Head Classic has become a Christmas tradition for many basketball fans, as there are only a handful of college basketball games in the days just before and after December 25th. For hardcore basketball fans, the final day of the event falls on Christmas Day, providing an escape from the usual dinner table conversations.
Last season, the Oklahoma Sooners took on the Harvard Crimson in the finals. Harvard knocked off the BYU Cougars and the Auburn Tigers to reach the finals, and were looking for their third-straight upset to take home the title. In the end, Buddy Hield and the Sooners were too much for the Crimson, cruising to the 83-71 victory and the 2015 Diamond Head Classic title.
This time around, seven new teams will try their hand in Hawaii. While there are two clear-cut favourites, anything is possibly over the holiday break.
One of the early-season tournaments that regularly brings in a highly competitive field is the Gulf Coast Showcase. Taking place down in Southwest Florida inside Germain Arena, any of the eight teams could realistically come away with the tournament title when all is said and done.
Last year was no exception. In the end, the Weber State Wildcats took down the Murray State Racers to win the 2015 Gulf Coast Showcase in a battle of two top-tier mid-major programs.
On Friday, the bracket for the 2016 edition of the event was released. From top to bottom, there are talented programs who will be vying for an early-season tournament title.
Eight different conference are represented in the event, which takes place from November 21-23, 2016.
March is the best month of the year in the sporting world for several reasons. Spring Training gets under way, the NHL and NBA both ramp up as the play-offs near, and the NFL free agency period gets under way.
Then, the best of them all, the NCAA Tournament come back into our lives. Hallelujah!
Trying to keep up with all that goes on in the college basketball world leading up to Selection Sunday and the Big Dance can be challenging, especially with all of the conferences holding their post-season tournaments.
We’ve got you covered.
Below, you can find the brackets for every conference championship, and keep tabs on who has secured the automatic bid for each. Recaps of every championship game can also be found after the tournaments have come to a close.
Every year, teams see their dreams of making the NCAA Tournament come true, while others accept bids into other post-season tournaments.
Last season, 68 teams made the NCAA Tournament, 32 made the NIT, 16 made the College Basketball Invitational, and 32 made the CollegeInsider.Com Tournament. If the math is correct, that leaves 203 teams without a spot in post-season play.
Some teams aren’t even eligible for post-season play due to off-court issues. That is true for several teams in 2015-16.
The Louisville Cardinals? Self-imposed post-season ban.
How about the Alcorn State Braves, Stetson Hatters, Central Arkansas Bears, and Florida A&M Rattlers? All banned from the post-season due to low APR scores.
That’s where we come in. We don’t discriminate, and even teams who aren’t eligible in the real world are welcome in our eyes.
We like to encompass every team in the country, and make them feel welcome in a post-season tournament. The 351-Team Ultimate Bracket does just that!
With 2015 firmly in the rear-view mirror, being nothing but a distant memory, teams are fully engaged in the gauntlet that is known as conference play, and they all have the same goal in mind: advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
For the smaller programs, a strong performance in conference play is much more important to them achieving their goal as opposed to power conference programs. Power conferences get multiple bids in the tournament, creating a ton of intrigue as to what teams make it in and what ones do not. Selection Sunday is always a hot topic, as several teams find themselves on the bubble, anxiously awaiting their post-season fate. Some will find their name on a line in the NCAA Tournament bracket, while others will make their way to the NIT.
Conference play hasn’t been too kind to the teams ranked in the top 25, especially in the past 7 days. Over the past week (Jan. 11-17), a total of 11 ranked teams have fallen to an unranked opponent, creating quite the shake-up in the seeds for the latest edition of CCR Bracketology.
With the New Year under way, College Court Report’s own Maverick and Bennett offer up the latest edition of CCR Bracketology, giving their opinions of what the field of 64 could look like. As conference play moves along, we will expand to a field of 68 teams, complete with opening round match-ups. We will be doing a weekly Bracketology report every Monday morning!
Below, take a look at both sets of predictions, and let us know what you think!