Battle 4 Atlantis highlights pairings
The Battle 4 Atlantis -- with a field that includes Final Four teams Wisconsin and Florida as well as traditional powers North Carolina, Georgetown and UCLA -- highlights eight college basketball tournament pairings announced by ESPN for the upcoming 2014-15 season.
Other tournament pairings announced Tuesday include the MGM Grand Main Event, the MGM Grand Showcase, Puerto Rico Tipoff, Orlando Classic, Gildan Charleston Classic, Wooden Legacy and the Diamond Head Classic.
It's time to reveal the fields for some of college basketball's biggest early-season tournaments.
• MGM Grand Main Event
• MGM Grand Showcase
• Puerto Rico Tip-Off
• Orlando Classic
• Gildan Charleston Classic
• Wooden Legacy
• Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic
• Battle 4 Atlantis
• Hall of Fame Tip Off
• Jimmy V Classic Presented by Corona Extra
• 2K Classic
• Legends Classic
• State Farm Champions Classic
• CBE Hall of Fame Classic
• EA Sports Maui Invitational
All games will air on the ESPN family of networks.
The Battle 4 Atlantis packs the most punch as Wisconsin, Florida, North Carolina, Georgetown, UCLA, Butler, Alabama-Birmingham and Oklahoma will compete in the tourney that will be held Nov. 26-28 on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.
The MGM Grand Main Event will be held in Las Vegas Nov. 24 and Nov. 26. Three teams that will enter next season with new coaches -- Auburn (Bruce Pearl), Oregon State (Wayne Tinkle) and Tulsa (Frank Haith) -- will join Oklahoma State in the heavyweight bracket. The middleweight bracket will feature UW-Milwaukee, Oral Roberts, Louisiana-Lafayette and a fourth team to be named.
The MGM Grand Showcase, which will also be held in Las Vegas, will feature two matchups on Dec. 20. Washington will play an Oklahoma squad that returns the bulk of its roster from last season, and UNLV will face a Utah team that could make some noise in the Pac-12 this season.
Defending national champion UConn and Dayton, an Elite Eight squad last season, will join Texas A&M, Charleston, New Mexico, Boston College, George Mason and West Virginia in the Puerto Rico Tipoff at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente in San Juan. The matchups will be played Nov. 20, 21 and 23.
Kansas, led by McDonald's All-America center Cliff Alexander, will headline the Orlando Classic, a tourney that will also include Michigan State, Tennessee, Santa Clara, Rider, Marquette, Georgia Tech and Rhode Island. A Kansas-Michigan State title game is possible in the tournament that will be played Nov. 27-28 and 30 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
South Carolina, Cornell, Charlotte, Southern California, Akron, Drexel, Miami and Penn State will compete in the Gildan Charleston Classic at TD Arena in Charleston, South Carolina, Nov. 20-21 and 23.
The Wooden Legacy tourney will be played at two sites in the Los Angeles area and will feature Princeton, UTEP, San Diego, Xavier, Long Beach State, Western Michigan, San Jose State and Washington. The opening round, Nov. 27-28, will be held at Cal State Fullerton and the championship and consolation games will be held at the Honda Center in Orange County, California, on Nov. 30.
A Wichita State squad that won its first 35 games last season will join Ohio, George Washington, DePaul, Colorado, Loyola Marymount, Nebraska and Hawaii in the Diamond Head Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu on Dec. 22-23 and 25.