Top Teams Announced for 2016 ESPN Events Early-Season Men’s Basketball Tournaments

10 of Top 14 Teams Ranked in Latest Associated Press Poll to Participate in Early-Season ESPN Owned-and-Operated Events

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 multi-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 and Honolulu are all bracket-format tournaments featuring 12 games over three days. The teams compete once per day, advancing with a victory. The two remaining undefeated teams will face off in a championship game. The Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic will be announced in late December surrounding the event.

In its second year under the ESPN Events umbrella, the NIT Season Tip-Off will be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The designated home teams will each host two campus-site teams prior to traveling to Brooklyn for the championship round.

In addition to the multi-team tournaments, ESPN Events also manages four premium events including the Armed Forces Classic, State Farm Champions Classic and Jimmy V Men’s and Women’s Classics presented by Corona. The Jimmy V Men’s and Women’s Classics fields will be announced at a later date.

The 2015-16 college basketball season is underway and several teams ranked in the latest Associated Press poll (Nov. 16) will be participating in 2016 events: No. 2 Kentucky, No. 4 Kansas, No. 5 Duke, No. 7 Iowa State, No. 8 Oklahoma, No. 10 Gonzaga, No. 11 Villanova, No. 12 Arizona, No. 13 Michigan State and No. 14 Indiana.

Multi-Team Events

Gildan Charleston Classic – Nov. 17, 18 & 20
The Gildan Charleston Classic, held at TD Arena in Charleston, S.C., will include Boise State, College of Charleston, Mississippi State, UCF, UTEP, Villanova, Wake Forest and Western Michigan.

Puerto Rico Tip-Off – Nov. 17, 18 & 20

The Puerto Rico Tip-Off, held in San Juan, will showcase Arizona State, Clemson, Davidson, Missouri, Northern Iowa, Oklahoma, Tulane and Xavier.

DIRECTV Wooden Legacy – Nov. 24, 25 & 27

The DIRECTV Wooden Legacy will be played in Orange County, Calif. The first two days will be held on the campus of Cal-State Fullerton and the final day of competition will be at Honda Center in Anaheim. The field consists of Cal State-Northridge, Dayton, Nebraska, New Mexico, Portland, Texas A&M, UCLA and Virginia Tech.

AdvoCare Invitational – Nov. 24, 25 & 27

The AdvoCare Invitational, held at HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla., will feature Florida, Gonzaga, Indiana State, Iowa State, Miami (Fla.), Quinnipiac, Seton Hall and Stanford.

NIT Season Tip-Off – Thanksgiving week – dates TBD

The NIT Season Tip-Off championship round will be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. and will feature Florida State, Illinois, Temple and West Virginia.

Additional Events

Armed Forces Classic – Friday, Nov. 11
The Armed Forces Classic – a series of Division I men’s college basketball games played on United States military bases worldwide over a five-year rotation – will originate from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu in 2016. The doubleheader will pit Indiana vs. Kansas and Arizona vs. Michigan State.

State Farm Champions Classic – Tuesday, Nov. 15

The sixth installment of the State Farm Champions Classic will be played Madison Square Garden in New York City and will showcase Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State.