Early season tournaments are a hallowed tradition in college basketball, akin to yearly Midnight Madness celebrations and Dick Vitale screaming at your television. With the schedules set and the 2012-13 season shaping up to be a dandy, there are few more intriguing tournaments this year than the CBE Hall of Fame Classic.
The tournament is centered around the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame's induction ceremony, which will take place on November 18 this year.
For college basketball fans, the CBE Classic is an opportunity to celebrate the past and while marveling at the present in college basketball.
Though not revered with the same fervor as the Maui Invitational, each year the CBE Classic seems to pull off some captivating action. That should certainly be the case in 2012, as the seventh-ranked Kansas Jayhawks join the St. Louis Billikens, Washington State Cougars and Texas A&M Aggies in Kansas City.
With that in mind, here is a look at everything you need to know about the 2012 CBE Classic.
The 2012 CBE Classic will take place from November 19-20, mere days before the Thanksgiving holiday. So before you sit down with your family and partake in some heavy food consumption, be sure to grub on some college hoops beforehand.
Like last year, the 2012 CBE Classic will be held at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO.
While not exactly a home-court advantage, the location of the tournament certainly should play into St. Louis' and Kansas' favor. Both teams come into the tournament as favorites to begin with, and the Jayhawks and Billikens should have far more fans in attendance than Texas A&M or Washington State.
Nonetheless, don't expect the Aggies or Cougars to come in and roll over. Both preliminary matchups should be highly contested, and luckily for us, the ESPN family of networks will broadcast each game.
|11/19/2012||Texas A&M vs. St. Louis||7:30 p.m. ET||ESPNU|
|11/19/2012||Washington State vs. Kansas||TBA||ESPN2|
|11/20/2012||Consolation Game||7:00 p.m. ET||ESPN3|
Each tournament game will be available for live streaming, courtesy of WatchESPN.
Team To Watch: Kansas Jayhawks
Of the four squads that will walk into the Sprint Center for the CBE Classic, Kansas carries by far the most intrigue.
Led by head coach Bill Self, this season's team will be far different than the one that reached the 2012 National Championship game. Though three starters return from that squad, only center Jeff Withey is considered anything resembling a star.
However, Withey's main contribution to the team comes on the defensive end, which leaves massive questions about where Kansas will get its scoring in 2012-13.
One player who could step up and carry the load is scintillating 5-star recruit Perry Ellis, who will get his first taste of collegiate tournament action at the Classic. A 6'8" forward, Ellis has the opportunity to become the next great star in Jayhawks history if he lives up to the massive hype.
Even if Ellis doesn't factor heavily into the offense, Self has one of the deepest teams in the nation to work with. The beginning of the season—especially the Classic—will be an opportunity to see where Kansas is after losing leading scorers Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson to the NBA.