As Fall approaches, the start of the NCAA basketball season is right around the corner. However, for most teams who dream of March Madness glory, their season starts with an exciting early season tournament. Here is a look at the best NCAA basketball tournaments happening at the beginning of the season.
Legends Classic – Nov 20-21, 2017
The Progressive Legends Classic takes place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The participating teams are Oklahoma State, Pitt, Penn State, and Texas A&M. The standout player at The Legends Classic is Texas A&M forward Robert Williams, who surprised a lot of people by agreeing to come back to school for his sophomore year. He is considered a top prospect for next year’s NBA Draft. Oklahoma State made an impact last year, and college fans will be curious to see how the team responds to losing point guard Jawun Evans to the NBA.
Hall Of Fame Classic – Nov 20-21, 2017
The Hall of Fame Classic takes place at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The competing teams are Baylor, UCLA, Creighton, and Wisconsin. Fans will be curious to see how good UCLA will be this year after losing multiple players to the NBA, including Lonzo Ball and TJ Leaf. UCLA does have a talented freshman class coming in to replace these players. Wisconsin is looking to rebound after a painful loss in the Elite 8 to the Florida Gators.
Battle 4 Atlantis – Nov 22-24, 2017
The Battle 4 Atlantis takes place at Atlantis Paradise Island on Paradise Island in Nassau, Bahamas. This year’s field features a number of exciting teams including Arizona, Villanova, Western Kentucky, NC State, Purdue, SMU, Tennessee, and Northern Iowa. Arizona will definitely be one of the best teams in the country this year. They are led by guard Allonso Trier, who could be the national player of the year. Villanova has been one of the best teams in the last few years, winning a national championship and spending multiple weeks as the top-ranked team in college basketball. Purdue is looking to make a long run this spring, as they return almost their entire starting lineup.
Maui Invitational – Nov 20-22, 2017
The Maui Invitational takes place at the Lahaina Civic Center in Lahaina, Hawaii. This year’s Thanksgiving showcase features Michigan, LSU, Marquette, VCU, Notre Dame, California, Wichita State, and Chaminade. Notre Dame, Michigan, and Wichita State are the standout teams.
Phil Knight Invitational – Nov 23-26, 2017
The Phil Knight Invitational will take place throughout Portland, Oregon, to honor the 80th birthday of Nike co-founder Phil Knight. There will be 16 teams participating in two separate tournaments. The Phil Knight Invitational is filled with prestigious schools and national title contenders. Portland, Arkansas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Georgetown, Oregon, Duke, Connecticut, Portland State, Michigan State, Gonzaga, Florida, Butler, Texas, Ohio State, and Stanford make up the field.