Battle 4 Atlantis projects as college basketball's best early season event

There are so many early season tournaments in college basketball these days that it's hard to keep track of what's happening where. But know this: The Battle 4 Atlantis -- a three-day, eight-team event scheduled to start on Thanksgiving -- will top everything else as it features six schools ranked in our latest preseason Top 25 (and one).

That's right.

We have 75 percent of the field ranked.

"It is obviously a very talented field in which the eventual champion will have been supremely challenged for three straight days," said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. "It is our honor to participate."

The bracket looks like this:

(CBSSports.com rankings in parenthesis)

  • (No. 3) Louisville vs. Northern Iowa
  • (No. 19) Missouri vs. Stanford
  • (No. 14) Memphis vs. (No. 25) VCU
  • (No. 12) Duke vs. (No. 24) Minnesota

The Louisville-UNI winner will play the Missouri-Stanford winner in one semifinal while the Memphis-VCU winner meets the Duke-Minnesota winner in the other. According to seeds, Louisville and Duke should meet in the November 24 title game. But what's great is that both semifinal matchups project as games between ranked teams, which is what makes this a must-watch event for college basketball enthusiasts (and football fans a little burned out).

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Gary Parrish is an award-winning college basketball columnist and television analyst for CBS Sports who also hosts the highest-rated afternoon drive radio show in Memphis, where he lives with his wife... Full Bio

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