In case anyone was wondering why the University of Louisville wasn’t included in the “Champions Classic,” the 24-hour basketball marathon on ESPN which was minus the 2013 champs …
North Carolina, another traditional power, wasn’t included in the marathon either. One reason may have been that UofL and North Carolina were committed to the annual Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Tip-Off event.
That’s about the only explanation that makes any sense. Why else would the leading network for sports leave the defending champions out of the picture? Incompetent programming otherwise.
The Louisville-Hofstra game was part of the invitational, as is the Tar Heels’ upcoming game against Holy Cross this Friday. Other teams participating in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off include Richmond, Fairfield, Belmont, Holy Cross, Cornell and Hartford. UofL’s first three games in the invitational aren’t tournament games.
UofL next plays Cornell on Friday and Hartford next Tuesday — in on-campus non-tournament games leading up to two four-game tournaments Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 23-24, at the luxurious Mohegan Sun Casino at Montville, Conn. There the teams are divided up into the Naismith and Springfield brackets, where separate champions will be crowned.
Louisville, North Carolina, Richmond and Fairfield are in the Naismith bracket. Hartford, Hofstra, Belmont and Holy Cross are in the Springfield bracket. North Carolina and Richmond will play in the first game of the Fairfield bracket Saturday, with Louisville and Fairfield in the second game.
The winners of those two games will meet for the championship of the Fairfield bracket the following Sunday at at 1 p.m., followed by a consolation game at 3 p.m. Teams in the Springfield bracket will play championship and consolation games later that night.