Friday, November 18, 2016

Non-conference tournaments, part I: pre-Thanksgiving

I'm doing posts to break down each exempt tournament in the non-conference.  This one will deal with the pre-Thanksgiving week ones.

Tire Pros Invitational:
Clemson vs. Davidson
Xavier vs. Missouri
Northern Iowa vs. Arizona St
Tulane vs. Oklahoma
The stakes:  A pretty solid tournament.  There's no signature wins, but the committee will pay attention to three-neutral site wins in a field like this.  Xavier and Oklahoma will have the pressure of probably being the best teams, while it's much more important for UNI and Davidson to pick off a few quality wins.  With a few marginal teams (see:  Tulane), it's important to get in the winners' bracket in this tournament.

Charleston Classic:
Western Michigan vs. Villanova
Wake Forest vs. UTEP
Mississippi St vs. Central Florida
Boise St vs. Charleston
The stakes: Villanova should roll.  For the other 7 teams, this is a freeroll chance to add a signature win over 'Nova.  It's tough to see a lot of value coming out of any other win in this tournament, but a couple of neutral site wins will have value.  Again, important to get in the winners' bracket, to better the chances of a win that will actually have impact.

2K Classic:
Pittsburgh vs. SMU
Michigan vs. Marquette
The stakes:  4 good teams who generally expect to be in the NCAA tournament.  0-2 isn't a disaster in this tournament, 2-0 means two quality neutral site wins.  The good news is everyone in this tourney is competent, so there's no mines to dodge.

Paradise Jam:
Loyola(Chi) vs. St Joseph's
Oral Roberts vs. Ole Miss
Montana vs. North Carolina St
Washington St vs. Creighton
The stakes:  Kind of a weird field.  Solid low-majors (Oral Bob, Montana), middling mid-majors, a couple marginal power conference teams, and Creighton.  Creighton is the favorite and might have to be more in a resume protection mode, as no single win in this field will carry a resume.  There's value in neutral court wins overall, but that's where the value stops in this tournament.

Hall of Fame Tip-Off:
Duke vs. Penn St
Cincinnati vs. Rhode Island
The stakes:  Cincy/URI is a sneaky good game between two probable tourney teams.  Duke will roll everyone in this tourney, though.

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