Feast Week

Let’s rank the Feast Week tournaments

In many parts of the country, Thanksgiving means football, more football, family, and food. For college basketball aficionados, Feast Week offers up tournaments of all shapes and sizes, usually at warm locales where us viewers get jealous, not only of the basketball matchups but also the sights of waves crashing and pools of all shapes and sizes showcased coming in and out of commercials.

There are over a dozen events starting this week. Here are the five to focus on.

Honorable Mention

Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans Fort Myers Tip-Off


Field: California, Florida, Ohio State, Seton Hall; Bowling Green, Milwaukee, Southern Utah, and Yale
Dates: November 22 and 24
Location: Fort Myers, FL
Let’s concentrate on the Beach Division (what a great division name), featuring the heavyweights.
Best First Round Matchup: Ohio State vs Seton Hall
Ideal Championship Game: Ohio State vs Florida
Tournament Nugget: The CBB Review fearless leader, Mat Mlodzinski will be paying close attention to this one given that his alma mater Seton Hall, who owns a win at Michigan, is playing in this one. Florida comes in off an impressive win over in-state rival Florida State.

5. Hall Of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker


Field: Arkansas, Cincinnati, Illinois, Kansas State
Dates: November 22-23
Location: Kansas City, MO
Best First Round Matchup: Cincinnati vs Illinois
Ideal Championship Game:  Arkansas vs Illinois
Tournament Nugget: The event is not in a vacation destination, sorry Kansas City, Missouri, but could match up a pair of top 15 teams in the championship game.

4. Maui Jim Maui Invitational


Field: Butler, Chaminade, Houston, Notre Dame, Oregon, Saint Mary’s, Texas A&M, and Wisconsin
Dates: November 22-23-24
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Best First Round Matchup: Saint Mary’s vs Notre Dame
Sumptuous Semifinal Delight (if it happens): Houston vs Wisconsin (a potential matchup of contrasting styles)
Ideal Championship Game: Houston vs Oregon
Tournament Nugget: The only disappointment in this event is that it has been relocated to Las Vegas. Now, who doesn’t love time in Vegas, but when the original host was Maui, well I can understand a fan of one of these eight teams being disappointed when hopping on the plane to attend.

3. 2021 NIT Season Tip-Off

Field: Iowa State, Memphis, Virginia Tech, Xavier
Dates: November 24 and 26
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Best First Round Matchup: Memphis vs Virginia Tech
Ideal Championship Game:  Xavier vs Memphis
Tournament Nugget: Event features a scintillating first-round game between Memphis and Virginia Tech. Xavier just beat in-state rival Ohio State.

2. 2021 ESPN Events Invitational

Field: Alabama, Belmont, Dayton, Drake, Iona, Kansas, Miami, North Texas
Dates: November 25, 26, and 28
Location: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Orlando
Best First Round Matchup: Belmont vs Drake
Sumptuous Semifinal Delight (if it happens): Alabama vs Drake
Ideal Championship Game:  Alabama vs Kansas
Tournament Nugget: In its infinite wisdom, this event starts on Thanksgiving Day, giving you an opportunity to watch a great matchup between Belmont and Drake, two teams ranked in the top 13 of the CBBReview Mid-Major Top 25, as well as Iona and Rick Pitino against Alabama, which has the feel of a 3-14 NCAA Tournament game.

1. Battle 4 Atlantis


Field: Arizona State, Auburn, Baylor, Connecticut, Loyola Chicago, Michigan State, Syracuse, and Virginia Commonwealth
Dates: November 24-25-26
Location: Paradise Bahamas 
Best First Round Matchup: Auburn vs UConn
Sumptuous Semifinal Delight (if it happens): UConn vs Michigan State
Ideal Championship Game: Baylor vs UConn
Tournament Nugget: The Battle 4 Atlantis not only plays on Thanksgiving Day but also features teams accounting for eight national championships, 27 Final Four appearances, and 70 conference championships.

With defending national champion Baylor along with Michigan, State, Syracuse, and Auburn in the fold, this event features delicious matchup possibilities. Someone is going to come away with three impressive wins while another team is going to leave going winless but getting better in the process.

The Auburn/UConn winner has a chance to claim wins over Michigan State and Baylor for three resume-enhancing wins come March.

By skirck2