Monday, November 19, 2012

Battle 4 Atlantis, Maui Invitational, Legends Classic Headline Tournaments To Watch Thanksgiving Week

UNC and Texas included in field battling for the Maui Invitational title. (

Thanksgiving week is synonymous with football, but if you're looking for a feast, look no further than the slate of college basketball tournaments taking place all around the continent. Here's a quick look at the tournaments you will want to keep an eye on this week.

Maui Invitational - Nov. 19-21, Maui, Hawaii

The favorite: UNC

The field: Marquette vs. Butler; Mississippi St. vs. UNC; Texas vs. Chaminade; USC vs. Illinois

Breakdown: Texas was an early favorite to give UNC a run for its money, but the status of guard Myck Kabongo is still uncertain. Without Kabongo, Texas will struggle to find enough scoring to keep up with the fast-pace scoring of UNC (through two games the Longhorns are only averaging 62 ppg). UNC is young, but has lots of talent and should be able to leave Hawaii with the trophy.

Legends Classic - Nov. 19-20, Brooklyn, NY

The favorite: Indiana

The field: Indiana vs. Georgia; UCLA vs. Georgetown

Breakdown: Indiana should have no trouble taking care of Georgia and advancing to the title game. But the UCLA/Georgetown game became much more interesting after the news that Bruins freshman Shabazz Muhammad is now eligible to play. Georgetown's only early test - against Florida on an aircraft carrier - was canceled, and it feels like this Hoyas team is still searching for its identity. Indiana vs. UCLA would make an entertaining final, where UCLA should stay competitive, but the Hoosiers may prove to have too much firepower offensively.

Battle 4 Atlantis - Nov. 22-24, Atlantis Resorts, Bahamas

The favorite: Louisville/Duke

The field: Duke, Louisville, Missouri, Memphis, Stanford, VCU, Minnesota, Northern Iowa

Breakdown: This has to be the most talent-heavy preseason tournament this year, with a good mix of blue bloods and mid-major darlings. There are no easy roads to the finals in this bracket, so the trophy is up for grabs. Duke and Louisville should both be in the running for the championship game, but don't overlook Memphis or Missouri as an upset pick. Missouri's transfers are starting to get a feel for playing together and Memphis has tons of young talent. Duke came out of the gate hot with a win over Kentucky in the Champions Classic, while Louisville has yet to be tested. The title game could be any number of matchup combinations, which makes this a must-see tournament to watch.

Others To Keep An Eye On

CBE Classic - Nov. 19-20, Kansas City, Mo.
The field: Kansas, St. Louis, Texas A&M and Washington State

Preseason NIT - Nov. 21-23, New York City
The field: Michigan, Pitt, Kansas State, Virginia, Bowling Green, Delware, Fordham, Fairfield, Cleveland St., North Texas, Lamar and Robert Morris

Old Spice Classic - Nov. 22-25, Orlando, Fl.
The field: Gonzaga, Vanderbilt, Davidson, Oklahoma, Clemson, West Virginia, UTEP, Marist

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