The NBA lockout has forced basketball enthusiasts into a state of frustration. However, it makes the start of the college season even sweeter.
The 2011 CBE Classic will run from November 21st-22nd and the location of the event gives a distinct advantage to one of the four talented teams taking part.
This year's tournament is at the Spring Center in Kansas City, MO.
Given that the Missouri Tigers are one of the teams featured in the 2011 CBE Classic, Notre Dame, California and Georgia aren't exactly playing on a neutral court.
However, that doesn't mean the Tigers are going to run away with the tournament by any means. They've got to take on three teams who are all eager to represent their respective conferences and make a statement early in the season.
|11/21/2011||Missouri vs. Notre Dame||7:30 ET||ESPN2|
|11/21/2011||Cal vs. Georgia||TBA||ESPN2|
|11/22/2011||Consolation Game||7:45 ET||ESPNU|
You can catch the action on ESPN3.
The team to watch in this tournament isn't the home team, nor is it necessarily the best team taking part in the competition.
It's the Cal Bears.
This is a team who will expose themselves as either a seasoned group with a veteran core and a lot of promise, or as the same middle-of-the-road, 18-15 team with a low-ceiling that we saw last season.
Mike Montgomery's team has a lot to prove. One way or another, we'll know where they stand after this tournament. That is, not only in the Pac-12, but on the national scene.
The crowd isn't going to care about Cal's Jorge Gutierrez, Notre Dame's Tim Abromaitis or Mark Fox's scrappy group of Bulldogs. It's all about rising star Marcus Denmon to Tigers fans. What's more, you can expect him to use the encouragement of the home crowd to put forth a spectacular stretch of games throughout this tournament.
Kansas City's home-court advantage is going to provide a huge lift, but a tournament jam-packed with as many enigmas as this has made it impossible to dub the Tigers runaway favorites.
Be sure to check back for all the latest CBE info.