PRESS RELEASE

ESPN Events Celebrates 29 Teams Advancing to NCAA Championship from Early-Season Basketball Events

Twenty-nine of this season’s 56 participants in ESPN Events’ early-season men’s college basketball events were selected to the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship field.  ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates early-season basketball events worldwide beginning in November and running through the Christmas holiday.

The Charlotte, N.C., based group manages six multiple-team events consisting of the Gildan Charleston Classic, Puerto Rico Tip-Off, DIRECTV Wooden Legacy, AdvoCare Invitational, NIT Season Tip-Off and Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic. The multi-day, destination events staged from Charleston, S.C., San Juan, Puerto Rico, Orange County, Calif., Orlando, Brooklyn and Honolulu, respectively, are all bracket-format tournaments.

In addition to the multiple-team tournaments, ESPN Events also manages three neutral men’s basketball events including the Armed Forces Classic, State Farm Champions Classic and Jimmy V Classic presented by Corona.

Each 2015 event featured at least two participants who earned a selection to the NCAA Championship.  The AdvoCare Invitational led the way with all eight participating teams selected to play in the postseason, including six in the NCAA Championship and two in the NIT. The entire fields from the Armed Forces Classic, State Farm Champions Classic and Jimmy V Classic presented by Corona were also selected.

All six ESPN Events multiple-team event 2015 champions earned NCAA bids: Virginia from the Gildan Charleston Classic (No. 1 seed, Midwest Region), Miami from the Puerto Rico Tip-Off (No. 3, South), Michigan State from the DIRECTV Wooden Legacy (No. 2, Midwest), Xavier from the AdvoCare Invitational (No. 2, East), Villanova from the NIT Season Tip-Off (No. 2, South) and Oklahoma from the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (No. 2, West).

The 2016 ESPN Events college basketball schedule tips off in Hawaii on November 11, 2016, with the Armed Forces Classic.  Held in Oahu featuring Pearl Harbor, four NCAA participants will highlight the event: Arizona, Indiana, Kansas and Michigan State.


ESPN Events ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 34 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games, the FCS opening-weekend game, 15 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events, a college softball event, an esports event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 375-plus hours of live programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and Tampa, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans. For more information, visit the official websiteFacebookTwitter or YouTube pages. Collegiate Football Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Tampa, Fla.); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Frisco Bowl (Texas);   Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl (Nassau);  MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Atlanta); Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Myrtle Beach Bowl (South Carolina); New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); SERVPRO First Responder Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); SoFi Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta) Collegiate Basketball Armed Forces Classic (Anchorage, Alaska); Charleston Classic (South Carolina); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic Presented by Corona (TBD) Myrtle Beach Invitational (Conway, S.C.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Orlando Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.);  Phil Knight Invitational (Portland, Ore.); State Farm Champions Classic (New York City) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.) Collegiate Softball St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational Presented by Wilson (Clearwater, Fla.) Collegiate Esports Collegiate Esports Championship (Houston) For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.