The Champions Classic again will serve up early marquee matchups, as ESPN released the pairings for seven more college basketball tournaments on Wednesday.
Coupled with the eight tournament brackets revealed Tuesday, a total of 15 tournaments will be broadcast over ESPN's family of networks.
The Champions Classic doubleheader, which captivated observers last season, will have Kentucky facing Kansas and Duke taking on Michigan State in Indianapolis on Nov. 18. Like last year, the event will serve as a showcase for some of the nation's best freshmen, including Duke's Jahlil Okafor, Kentucky's Trey Lyles and Kansas' Cliff Alexander.
The Maui Invitational has been the staple of Thanksgiving break tournaments for three decades. It will take place Nov. 24-26 and has a field led by Arizona, which reached the Elite Eight last season. The Wildcats won the event in 2000 and open with Missouri, whose 1989 title makes it the only other past champion in the field. Kansas State and Purdue play in their bracket, and the opposite bracket has San Diego State playing BYU and Pittsburgh taking on host school Chaminade.
Madison Square Garden will host two tournaments starting with the 2K Classic on Nov. 20-21. The subregion games are played on campus with the semifinals a predetermined mix. Texas will trot out coveted freshman center Myles Turner on Broadway against Iowa in the semifinals, while California will take on Syracuse in the Orange's home away from home in the other semifinal game.
The Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 9 welcomes a Midwest rivalry separated by just an hour and a half -- but they'll fight this one out in New York City. The last time Louisville and Indiana faced each other was in 2003 -- two conferences ago for the Cardinals and two coaches ago for the Hoosiers. Louisville's Rick Pitino and Indiana's Tom Crean are very familiar with each other, though, having clashed in Conference USA when Crean coached Marquette. Illinois and Villanova will play the other game in the doubleheader.
Villanova will also venture to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Nov. 24-25 for the Legends Classic, where it will face VCU in the semifinals. The winner advances to play either Michigan or Oregon, and there will also be a consolation game.
The Basketball Hall of Fame Tip Off Classic is Nov. 22-23 at Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, and pits Florida State against Massachusetts in one semifinal matchup. Notre Dame will renew a former Big East clash against Providence in the other.
The CBE Hall of Fame Classic on Nov. 24-25 in Kansas City finds Maryland representing its new Big Ten conference affiliation against Arizona State. Alabama and Iowa State will play in the other semifinal.