KANSAS CITY, Mo. (March 7, 2017) – Four top college basketball programs are set to face off next season in Kansas City, Mo., in one of the most competitive fields in the history of the Hall of Fame Classic. Baylor and Creighton will join past NCAA champions UCLA and Wisconsin in the championship rounds of the 2017 Hall of Fame Classic Nov. 20-21 at Sprint Center. The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) announced the field today.
The Hall of Fame Classic will be the culminating event of college basketball’s Hall of Fame Weekend, which also includes the 12th annual induction ceremony for the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. That event will take place on Sunday, Nov. 19, at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland in Kansas City. The semifinal rounds will be held on Monday, Nov. 20. The finals will take place the following day, Tuesday, Nov. 21, beginning with the consolation game, followed by the championship game. All four contests will be aired on an ESPN network.
Select tickets for the championship round games at Sprint Center will be available beginning Tuesday, March 7th at 10:00am CT through www.axs.com, www.halloffameweekend.com, or by phone at 1-888-929-7849, and will remain on sale through the end of March. Additional tickets will be available beginning on Saturday, August 5th at 10:00am CT via the same ticket outlets, including at Sprint Center Box Office. The complete bracket, including matchups and television times for the 2017 Hall of Fame Classic, will be announced at a later date. For more information on the Hall of Fame Classic, please visit www.halloffameweekend.com.
---- Hall of Fame Classic Championship Rounds ----
Sprint Center – Kansas City, Mo. Sprint Center – Kansas City, Mo.
Monday, November 20 Tuesday, November 21
Baylor - The Bears finished the regular season tied for second place in the ultra-competitive Big 12 Conference at 12-6, 25-6 overall and ranked 9th nationally… Looking to make their fourth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance … Led by junior forward Johnathan Motley, averaging team-highs in points (17.5) and rebounds (10.0) and junior guard Manu Lecomte (12.4ppg) … Scott Drew, head coach of the Bears, stated: “We’re really excited about the opportunity to play in the 2017 Hall of Fame Classic. It’s one of the nation’s strongest tournament fields playing in one of the best arenas. Matching up against quality programs like UCLA, Wisconsin and Creighton will help us prepare for the grind of the Big 12 Conference, a return to Sprint Center for the Big 12 Championship, and hopefully a deep run into the NCAA Tournament.”
Creighton - Enjoyed one of the best seasons in school history at 23-8, including 10-8 in the rugged BIG EAST Conference and has been nationally ranked for most of the season … Attempting to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2013-14 season, when the Bluejays were eliminated in the third round by fellow Hall of Fame Classic participant Baylor … Led by junior guard Marcus Foster (18.5ppg) and freshman center Justin Patton (13.1ppg) … Bluejays’ head coach Greg McDermott had this to say about playing in the event: “We’re excited to take part in the 2017 Hall of Fame Classic. Obviously the proximity to Omaha will be great for Creighton fans. The field is absolutely loaded and it’ll be some strong early season competition. Anything that honors the history of our game is great to be a part of.”
UCLA- The Bruins completed a very successful regular season, checking in at 15-3 in the difficult Pac-12 Conference, and 28-3 overall, a mark which puts them ranked #3 in the nation … Looking to return to the NCAA Tournament one year after missing out for the first time in three seasons … Led by senior guard Bryce Alford (16.5ppg) and dynamic freshman point guard Lonzo Ball (14.9ppg, 7.8apg) … Bruins’ head coach Steve Alford said, “Our goal every year is to schedule up and play a demanding non-conference lineup. Our players, coaches and fans all want to be part of big-time games, so when you talk about next season’s Hall of Fame Classic with a field that includes Baylor, Creighton and Wisconsin, I think everyone would agree the level of competition in this tournament is elite. Our guys have unfinished business this year, but I know our returners and the new class will be as excited as I am about this opportunity to test ourselves next season in Kansas City. ”
Wisconsin- Finished the regular season tied for second place in the Big Ten Conference at 12-6 and 23-8 overall, good for a #24 national ranking … The Badgers have participated in 18 consecutive NCAA tournaments, including three Final Fours and the 2015 national championship game … led by seniors Bronson Koenig (14.2ppg) and Nigel Hayes (13.5ppg) and sophomore forward Ethan Happ (13.9ppg) … Second-year head coach Greg Gard had this to say about participating in this year’s tournament: “We’re very honored to play in the Hall of Fame Classic. In just a few short years this event has quickly turned into one of the better non-conference tournaments and the 2017 field proves that. You’ve got four programs that are NCAA Tournament regulars and all are having great seasons this year. I’m excited to bring our team to the National College Basketball Hall of Fame and Sprint Center is a terrific venue for big time college basketball.”
About the Hall of Fame Classic
The event is named after the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, featured at the College Basketball Experience, the award-winning and highly interactive college basketball fan facility adjacent to Sprint Center. Opened in October 2007, the College Basketball Experience is the nation's only facility that celebrates, in its entirety, the sport of men's collegiate basketball. The tournament, in partnership with the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), was initially established in 2001 as the Guardians Classic.
The Hall of Fame Classic is produced by Blue Ridge Sports & Entertainment, Inc. Blue Ridge Sports & Entertainment, Inc. is a sports management firm based in the Shenandoah Valley city of Winchester, Virginia. For more information on Blue Ridge Sports & Entertainment, Inc. please visit www.blueridgesports.com and follow us on Twitter at @BRSEinc.
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