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.