Six more early-season college basketball events announced

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

On Tuesday, we showed you the fields for five November college hoops events. Here are even more, all released in coordination with ESPN, which is broadcasting the lion's share of these tourneys. Begin blocking out your late-fall nights with these. So much college basketball talk this week, it almost feels like the season's around the corner.

Then I step outside, it's 134 degrees in Connecticut, and everything seems so far, far away. And hot. Oh, that heat. I digress.

On to the tournaments. You'll notice almost all of them are "classics." All times Eastern.

2K Sports Classic

Maybe my favorite four-team event that's not the Champions Classic. The 2K will, per usual, be a four-team event at Madison Square Garden. This year's field is Indiana, Washington, UConn and Boston College. The Nov. 21 games are UConn vs. Boston College (7 p.m., ESPN2) and Indiana vs. Washington (approx. 9:30 p.m., ESPN2). The title and consolation games will be played Nov. 22.

Grade: B+. The UConn-Boston College games is a good one because it will mark the first time those programs have played each other since BC left for the ACC a decade ago. A fracture between the two schools became cavernous and, though it has dwindled in recent years to a degree, it still exists. MSG will be a fun venue that night. The fans of the respective teams absolutely detest each other. A real, visceral northeast kind of hatred. The other game is just plain good. Indiana is a little down from last year, and Washington, I'd think, will be a little up. Nigel Williams-Goss is the U-Dub player to watch for.

CBE Hall of Fame Classic

The CBE will be played Nov. 25-26 and in Kansas City, per usual. The semifinal games will see Texas-BYU (7:30 p.m., ESPNU) and Wichita State-DePaul (10 p.m., ESPN3). The title and consolation games on Nov. 26 will be played at the same times.

Grade: C+. Wichita State is the clear draw here, which says many good things about the program and also something not so good about this event. Texas was bad last year, and I'm not sure how much better it's going to get in 2013-14. BYU: one of my most intriguing teams for next season. Getting through this event with two wins wouldn't shock me at all. DePaul is DePaul, a train that we've waited on for years and there's still no sound on the tracks.

Charleston Classic

This tournament runs Nov. 21-24. Time and schedule are as follows.

Date

Time (ET)

Game

Network

Thu, Nov 21

12:30 p.m.

Nebraska vs. UMass

ESPN3

3 p.m.

UAB vs. New Mexico

ESPNU

5 p.m.

Georgia vs. Davidson

ESPNU

7:30 p.m.

Temple vs. Clemson

ESPN3

Fri, Nov 22

noon

Consolation #1

ESPNU or ESPN3

2:30 p.m.

Semifinal #1

ESPN2 or ESPNU

7 p.m.

Consolation #2

ESPN3

9:30 p.m.

Semifinal #2

ESPNU

Sun, Nov 24

1:30 pm

7th-place Game

ESPN3

3:30 p.m.

5th-place Game

ESPN3

6:30 p.m.

3rd-place Game

ESPNU

9 p.m.

Championship Game

ESPN2

Grade: B. UMass will be a very good team next year. Nebraska should be improved as should UAB and Georgia. Davidson is something of an unknown as is New Mexico now that Craig Neal has taken over for Steve Alford. But UNM could very well be Top 25 good next year. Temple could have some challenges, and Clemson is just Clemson. It could wind up an entertaining field, but on the surface it's not extraordinarily enticing.

UMass-Temple would be my desired title game. The longtime A10 rivals are now in separate leagues due to Temple moving to the American Athletic Conference.

Diamond Head Classic

The Diamond Head is the tournament that has aligned itself with Christmas season. It waits for all the other exempt events from November and early December to wrap up, getting the stage all to itself leading up to Dec. 25, when the title game is played.

The schedule:

DateTime (HT)GameNetwork
Sun, Dec 2212:30 p.m.Iowa State vs. George MasonESPNU
2:30 p.m.Oregon State vs. AkronESPNU
6:00 p.m.South Carolina vs. Saint Mary'sESPNU
8:00 p.m.Boise State vs. HawaiiESPNU
Mon, Dec 239:30 a.m.Consolation #1ESPNU
11:30 a.m.Semifinal #1ESPNU
4:00 p.m.Semifinal #2ESPN2
6:30 p.m.Consolation #2ESPNU
Wed, Dec 258:30 a.m.7th-place GameESPN3
11:00 a.m.5th-place GameESPNU
1:30 p.m.3rd-place GameESPN2
3:30 p.m.Championship GameESPN2
Sat, Dec 28TBDAkron at South Carolina^TBD

^ - Non-bracketed Game

Grade: B+. I think half the teams from this field will make the NCAA tournament next year. Boise State will be a chic team heading into the season and with good reason. The Broncos will have an offensive arsenal that could make them one of the most entertaining watches in hoops next year. Iowa State, George Mason and Oregon State, minimally, will show promise. Mason could be sneaky good in its first year in the Atlantic 10. Plus: Frank Martin. The South Carolina coach is toiling in sub-par performance now, but that can't last beyond next year, probably.

Maui Invitational

The classic late-November college hoops event. Maui is celebrating 30 years this fall. The 2013 bracket (PDF) is here. The Invitational will run from Nov. 25-27. The on-island matchups will begin with Arkansas-California, Minnesota-Syracuse, Chaminade-Baylor and Dayton-Gonzaga playing in the quarterfinals. This event also has remote matchups and games that take place on the mainland. Oakland, Louisiana-Lafayette, St. Francis (N.Y.) and Coastal Carolina will get in games against the big boys in the lead-up to the main event.

Grade: B+. It's not an exceptionally strong field, but Maui always brings at least one major college hoops power. This year that happens to be Syracuse, which will again be solid, in addition to a good Gonzaga team and a Baylor club that will cycle in to its usual expectations of being a top-tier Big 12 team. Arkansas, California, Minnesota and Dayton have a wide spectrum of performance expectations for next year. I enjoy Maui when it provides a few answers about teams, and I think it can and will do that with the aforementioned foursome.

Wooden Legacy

This is a "new" event, so to speak. The Wooden Legacy was recreated from two other events -- the Wooden Classic and Anaheim Classic -- to get an eight-team field playing in two spots in southern California. On Nov. 28 and 29, teams will play in Fullerton, Calif.; on Dec. 1, the Honda Center in Anaheim hosts the championship. Quarterfinal play begins with Miami vs. George Washington, Marquette vs. Cal State Fullerton, College of Charleston vs. San Diego State and Creighton vs. Arizona State.

Grade: B. That Creighton-Arizona State game is boss. Two really good teams with a lot of competence on offense for what should make a great game. Marquette's again going to be tournament-worthy, and San Diego State will be no slouch. Pragmatically, I get the feeling the setup of this tournament -- and its new name -- might get it lost in the shuffle a bit. But it's a solid field with four NCAA tournament teams from last year.

 
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