Note: I am off to the Charleston Classic later this week. I highly recommend you attend one of these early season tournaments if you get a chance. They are easily some of the most under-rated basketball of the year.
While I am gone, allow me to repost the printable brackets for the major early season tournaments. I posted this a month ago, but since the tournaments are about to start, it seemed like a good time to bump it up to the front page.
A few updates since last month
-The Charleston Classic now has a printable bracket.
-And it turns out the Great Alaska Shootout has one too. It has been up since August, but it was hidden in the depths of the Seawolves website.
You can find these types of brackets everywhere these days, but posting printable brackets is a YABB tradition. And, because I can never find it anywhere, I've created my own South Padre Island Invitational Tournament Bracket. So take that. Other websites may have this same information, but this is your ONLY source of an SPI bracket. (Of course google docs has interpreted my PDF as a document making it virtually impossible to print. Grr. But now is not the time to be annoyed at minor grievances.) Having printable brackets in my hand always brings a smile to my face. Print them out and fill them out. Life is good.
Preseason NIT – Nov 15, 16, 17, 24, 26
Puerto Rico Tip-Off – Nov 18, 19, 21
Charleston Classic – Nov 18, 19, 21
Paradise Jam – Nov 19, 20, 21, 22
Maui Invitational – Nov 22, 23, 24
Great Alaska Shootout Nov 24, 25, 26, 27
76 Classic – Nov 25, 26, 28
Old Spice Classic – Nov 25, 26, 28
Cancun Governor’s Cup – Dec 22, 23, 24
Diamond Head Classic – Dec 22, 23, 25
4 Team Predetermined Semis
Coaches vs Cancer – Nov 18, 19
CBE Classic – Nov 22, 23
Cancun Challenge – Nov 23, 24
Legend’s Classic – Nov 26, 27
Chicago Invitational Challenge – Nov 26, 27
South Padre Island Invitational - Nov 26, 27
Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival - Dec 20, 21
Las Vegas Classic - Dec 22, 23
ESPN has a few more listed, but even ESPN cannot bring itself to list everything. (That Dr. Pepper Classic does not hold much appeal nationally.)
The next table shows where each conference is sending its teams this year. I list the Top 13 RPI conferences from last year. (Scroll to the right to see additional conferences.)
A few notes on the table:
I list the Cable Car Classic in the table because it includes three mid-major schools, but I could not bring myself to make a printable bracket for it.
*The LV Classic should not be confused with LV Invitational, or LV Holiday Hoops/Tarkanian Classic which are pre-scheduled non-tournaments this year.
**St. John's and Davidson both play in the MSG Holiday Festival Tournament and another exempt tournament.
***San Diego St., Rhode Island, Louisiana Tech, James Madison, and William & Mary are not in the pre-determined Final Four, but they will participate in these exempt events.
****UCF hosts a holiday tournament with a real bracket and the field includes Northeastern from the CAA, but it is nothing to get excited about.
*****Georgia St. also plays in tournament with a real bracket, the Dr. Pepper Classic in Chattanooga, but it is nothing to get excited about.
In addition to these tournaments there are a number of other exempt events that should produce good games. For example, one exempt event will pit Florida against Ohio St. And other event will have Kansas facing Arizona in Las Vegas. But organizers have removed all the fun by removing the bracket from these events. All games are simply prescheduled.
In particular, I laugh at the Las Vegas Invitational. The under-card (Valparaiso vs Northern Colorado and Bethune Cookman vs Texas A&M CC) gets a real bracket, but not the main event. Were the organizers really that concerned that Arizona and Kansas would fall to Santa Clara or Ohio in the semifinals?
Besides the Las Vegas Invitational under-card, there are a few other mini-tournaments I am not listing here. In particular, VCU hosts an event that will include Cornell. But I had to draw the line somewhere. Print these off and fill them out and you will have a very happy holiday season.