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1-2 matchup of Gonzaga, UCLA highlights hoops tourney feast

Highlights hoops tournament feast at Gonzaga and UCLA: 1-2 Matchup

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Friends and family are the best part of this time of year. There’s turkey, pie and lots of football.

Better make some room for some basketball, too.

With the rise of exemption tournaments in recent years, Thanksgiving has become a week to celebrate college hoops. Nearly every day is filled with intriguing matchups that not only provide Top 25 shakeups for the beginning of the season but can also be used as resume-builders in March.

These early season tourneys can be found in Mexico, the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas.

EMPIRE CLASSIC

It’s worth addressing the main issue first. Gonzaga, top-ranked, will take on No. 2. UCLA will face No. 2 UCLA at the Good Sam Empire Classic in Las Vegas on Tuesday, in a replay of the exciting national semifinal win by the Bulldogs.

“I was breaking down last night watching our UCLA game — they literally have their whole team back,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. They are definitely different and Mick (Cronin), to their credit, used it as a springboard. The players are confident, and they’re much the same as in the NCAA Tournament.

The Bruins will face the No. 1 team in the country for the first time since Dec. 3, 2016, when they defeated top-ranked Kentucky at Rupp Arena. Since Dec. 3, 2016, the Bruins have been ranked No.1 in regular season play, when they defeated Kentucky in Rupp Arena.

Few stated that Mick and I had worked hard to put this game together. We realized that this was something we needed to do because West Coast basketball. And we will continue doing that going forward. But to navigate our way to this game with these lofty rankings, whether they’re real or not — we’ll figure that out in February — should make for a fun night.”

MAUI INVITATIONAL

Due to COVID-19, one of the top early-season tournaments with No. The Maui Invitational will see 12 Houston join Oregon, Wisconsin, and Butler. After the Asheville games, North Carolina last year, these games will take place at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas.

FORT MYERS TIPOFF

Seton Hall leapt into the Top 25 at Number. 21, after defeating then-No. Michigan, last week. They will be joined by No. 22 Florida and Ohio State will host the Fort Myers Tip-Off at Suncoast Credit Union Arena.

BATTLE 4 ATLANTIS

After COVID-19’s cancellation, another tournament that is regarded as one of the most popular early-season events has been reinstated. Battle 4 Atlantis has a number of high-profile matchups starting Wednesday. 19 Auburn against No. 22 Uconn. Michigan State versus Loyola Chicago. Syracuse Against Virginia Commonwealth. Arizona State Against No. 6 Baylor.

TIP-OFF FOR NITSEASON

Barclays Center is Brooklyn’s longstanding staple for the New York City basketball scene. No. No. 25 Xavier faces Iowa State, while Memphis takes on Virginia Tech ninth in the first round.

WOODEN LEGALITY

No. Southern California’s 24th District will not be far behind when it takes on Saint Joseph’s in Thursday’s opening round at Anaheim Convention Center. Georgetown takes on San Diego State in the Wooden Legacy the next night.

ESPN EVENTS INVITATIONAL

The fourth-ranked Kansas is No. The ESPN Events Invitational begins Thursday, at the HP Field House in Kissimmee. In the first round, the Jayhawks will face North Texas while the Crimson Tide plays Iona. Belmont faces Drake while Dayton takes on Miami.

EMERALD COAST CLASSIC

LSU faces Penn State on Friday, while Oregon State plays Wake Forest. The main bracket for the Emerald Coast Classic hosted at Northwest Florida State College will feature LSU against Penn State and Oregon State facing off. Saturday is the final game.

Source: FoxNews.com

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