November 22, 2018 – Five schools from the Eastern time zone will compete next November in the 2019 Wooden Legacy against three schools from the Pacific time zone where perennial Pac-12 favorite Arizona will be the headliner in the early-season tournament that honors legendary coach John Wooden.
The announcement of the 2019 field was on the first day of play at this week’s 12th annual Wooden Legacy where school from five different time zones are competing – Eastern (La Salle, Miami and Seton Hall), Central (Northwestern), Mountain (Grand Canyon and Utah), Pacific (Fresno) and Hawaiian (Hawai’i).
Scheduled to be played November 28 and 29, and December 1 and hosted by the Big West Conference, Arizona will be joined in the 12-game bracketed event by College of Charleston (Colonial Athletic), Long Beach State (Big West), Penn (Ivy), Pepperdine (West Coast), Providence (BIG EAST), UCF (American Athletic) and Wake Forest (Atlantic Coast).
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. The Wooden Legacy is one of six early-season college basketball tournaments owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN.
Arizona, which placed third at the 2015 Wooden Legacy after the Wildcats were defeated by Providence in the semi-finals, will be attempting to join fellow Pac-12 members Cal (2012) UCLA (2016), USC (2007), Washington (2014) and Washington State (2017) as Wooden Legacy champions.
Other Wooden Legacy winners are Wake Forest (2008), West Virginia (2009), UNLV (2010), Saint Louis (2011), San Diego State (2013) and Michigan State (2015).
Providence also competed in the 2008 Wooden Legacy and joins Long Beach State (2009 and 2014) as three-time participants in the event. Charleston (2013) and Wake Forest (2008) will be competing in their second Wooden Legacy tournament.
Here are “wooden” chips:
- Arizona – The Wildcats have competed in the post-season the last eight years and won three of the last four Pac-12 post-season titles.
- College of Charleston – The Cougars have competed in the post-season the last two years with a four-point setback to Auburn in the 2018 NCAAs.
- Long Beach State – The 49ers placed third in the 2014 Wooden Legacy for the best finish ever by a Big West school.
- Penn – The 2017 Ivy League champions and first-round NCAA loser to Kansas, the Quakers join Princeton and Harvard as Wooden Legacy participants.
- Pepperdine – Lorenzo Romar, who coached Washington to a Wooden Legacy title, returns for his second stint as the Waves coach.
- Providence – The Friars have won 20 or more games the last five campaigns and have appeared in the post-season six-straight seasons under Coach Ed Cooley.
- UCF – The Knights reached the 2017 NIT semi-finals in Johnny Dawkins’ first-season at the UCF Coach.
- Wake Forest – Danny Manning, a 1988 Wooden Award winner, leads the Demon Deacons as Wake Forest seeks to maintain its “perfect” record at the SoCal event after winning the 2008 Anaheim Classic.