Matchups for 2018 Wooden Legacy Revealed
The matchups for the 2018 Wooden Legacy have been released for the three-day, 12-game bracket tournament to be played November 22, 23 and 25 in southern California during the Thanksgiving weekend.
With the Big West Conference hosting the event for the 12th-time, the 2018 Wooden Legacy will be played at Titan Gym on the campus of Cal State Fullerton where the school has been hosting the tournament since 2013. Hawai’i of the Big West will be the host school and will be competing in its first Wooden Legacy.
Other schools in the 2018 Wooden Legacy are Fresno State (Mountain West), Grand Canyon (Western Athletic) LaSalle (Atlantic 10), Miami (ACC), Northwestern (Big Ten), Seton Hall (Big East) and Utah (Pac-12). With the exception of Miami (Fla.), the other seven schools will be competing in their first Wooden Legacy event. Miami won its last two games in the 2013 Wooden Legacy after losing their opening contest in overtime.
All 12 games of the 2018 Wooden Legacy will air on ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3, and available on the ESPN App. All times listed are Pacific (other time zones).
Thursday, November 22
Friday, November 23
Sunday, November 25
Grand Canyon, Miami, Seton Hall and Utah competed in the 2018 post-season. Miami and Seton Hall earned bids to the NCAA Championships as the sixth seed in the South for the Hurricanes and the eighth seed in the Midwest for the Pirates. Both Miami and Seton Hall will be playing for the third-straight season in the NCAAs. The Hurricanes were playing in their 10th NCAAs and the Pirates in their 12th.
Utah placed second in the NIT as the Utes were playing for the 14th-time in the event where the school captured the 1947 title, placed second in 1974 and won the third-place game in 1992. The post-season appearance was the 45th for Utah and fifth-straight for the Utes under coach Larry Krystkowiak.
Grand Canyon, which has served its four-year transition from Division II play prior to the 2013-2014 season, has competed in the post-season four times under Dan Majerle with past appearances in the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018 College Insider Tournament.
The Wooden Legacy was formed in June 2013 when the John R. Wooden Classic was merged with the Anaheim Classic, which was an eight-school bracketed event played for six years (2007-2012) at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Past Anaheim Classic/Wooden Legacy winners were USC (2007), Wake Forest (2008), West Virginia (2009), UNLV (2010), Saint Louis (2011), Cal (2012), San Diego State (2013), Washington (2014), Michigan State (2015), UCLA (2016) and Washington State (2017).
Nine of the 11 Anaheim Classic/Wooden Legacy winners went on to earn NCAA bids with West Virginia advancing to the 2010 “final four” where the Mountaineers lost to Duke in the semi-finals. San Diego State advanced to the 2014 NCAA “sweet 16” before losing to Arizona on the same floor at the Honda Center in Anaheim where the Aztecs defeated Marquette for the 2013 Wooden Legacy title.
Four of the eight schools that competed in the 2017 Wooden Legacy advanced to the 2018 post-season. Cal State Fullerton (Big West) and San Diego State (Mountain West) won conference post-season tournaments to advance to the 2018 NCAAs. Harvard, which tied for the Ivy League regular-season title with Penn, and Saint Mary’s (West Coast) competed in the 2018 NIT.
The Wooden Legacy is one of several in-season eight-school bracketed college basketball tournaments owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, that have been staged since 2006. Miami’s appearance in the 2018 Wooden Legacy will be its ninth as the Hurricanes have captured ESPN Events’ titles at the 2007 and 2015 Puerto Rico Tip-Offs and the 2009 and 2014 Charleston Classics.
Hawai’i will be competing in its 10th ESPN Events tournament with the 2018 Wooden Legacy being their first away from Honolulu where the Rainbows have hosted the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic since 2009. Hawai’i and Miami competed together in the 2017 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.
While Fresno State and Grand Canyon will be competing in their first-ever tournament operated by ESPN Events, LaSalle (second), Northwestern (second), Seton Hall (fifth) and Utah (fourth) have previous participations in the in-season tournaments. Northwestern won its only previous ESPN in-season tournament appearance by defeating Seton Hall in the finals of the 2011 Charleston Classic.