Orlando Reportedly to Host Champions Classic, More Early-Season CBB Tournaments

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2020

Basketballs sit in a rack in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Orlando, Florida, will host eight college basketball events, including the Champions Classic, according to CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein.

Rothstein reported the tentative plan is to stage games without fans amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The dates for the individual contests remain fluid, since the NCAA hasn't set a date for the start of the upcoming season. 

Rothstein provided the fields for the respective tournaments:

  • Champions Classic: Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, Michigan State
  • Jimmy V Classic: Baylor, Rutgers, Gonzaga, Tennessee
  • Preseason NIT: Arizona, Cincinnati, Texas Tech, St. John's
  • Orlando Invitational: Michigan State, Gonzaga, Auburn, Xavier, Saint Louis, Boise State, Belmont, Siena
  • Myrtle Beach Invitational: Pitt, Nebraska, Missouri, Dayton, Loyola-Chicago, Utah State, Furman, Charlotte
  • Charleston Classic: Florida State, Seton Hall, Oklahoma State, Houston, Penn State, Tennessee, VCU, Charleston
  • Wooden Legacy: Kansas, Virginia, UCLA, Georgetown
  • Diamond Head Classic: Arizona State, Oklahoma, San Diego State, Saint Mary's, Hawaii, Temple, Seattle, North Texas

Rothstein implied the Champions Classic and other events will use a bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort, which the NBA has utilized for its restart.

The Battle 4 Atlantis is heading to a different part of the country. According to Rothstein, it's exchanging Nassau, Bahamas, for Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The number of in-season tournaments has grown in recent years, and bubbles will be especially useful for the upcoming campaign. The NBA and other American sports leagues have shown how keeping players and coaches inside a closely monitored ecosystem can mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

Last month, NCAA President Mark Emmert spoke in favor of creating bubbles dedicated to NCAA championships.

With the Division I Council voting Wednesday, ESPN's Jeff Goodman reported Nov. 21 is the expected start for the basketball season. Practices would begin Oct. 10.

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