NCAA

2018 Preseason College Basketball Preseason Tournaments for Mid-Atlantic Teams

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USA TODAY Sports

2018 Preseason College Basketball Preseason Tournaments for Mid-Atlantic Teams

Preseason college basketball is sometimes difficult to watch. Top teams across the country pay low-majors to come their place for a 25+ point blowout, teams expected to contend struggle out of the gate and simply some of the basketball just is not good (unless you are the Duke Blue Devils).

Then there are preseason tournaments. They have meaningless trophies and often allow teams to travel to vacation destintations.

But, it is a bunch of college basketball games in a short amount of time. They each have a bracket, are often played during work hours, and generally have good matchups.  Essentially they get us fired up before the lull of meddlesome non-conference games in December. 

As for the Mid-Atlantic teams competing in preseason tournaments, we've got you covered. Preseason tournaments are a great way for teams to set the tone, good or bad, for the rest of the season and going into non-conference play. Several Mid-Atlantic teams could use that boost. 

Make sure to spend the next two weeks filling your appetite with local college hoops. 

Gildan Charleston Classic

Dates: Nov 15-16, 18
Location: TD Arena, Charleston, South Carolina
Teams (Bracket): Ball State, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Northeastern, Purdue, Appalachian State, Wichita State, Davidson
How to Watch: ESPN2/ ESPNU/ ESPN3
Mid-Atlantic Spin: This tournament will give the Virginia Tech Hokies a good chance to measure themselves up against other like teams. With the talent the Hokies have, even with Chris Clarke's indefinite suspension, they should be aspiring to be a top half team in the ACC and better than the No. 8/9 seed line in the NCAA Tournament. It will be no easy path for Virginia Tech to win this tournament, but nevertheless they should be considered a team that can win it all in Charleston. 

Islands of the Bahamas Showcase

Dates: Nov. 16-18
Location: Kendal Isaacs National Gymnasium, Nassau, Bahamas
Teams (Bracket): Montana, Incarnate Word, Miami (OH), Georgia Southern, Florida Atlantic, Towson, Pepperdine
How to Watch: TBA
Mid-Atlantic Spin: A small scale tournament that will allow Towson to be in contention to win one or two games. Last year's Tigers team would roll through this field, but Towson still needs an identity. With three games in three days, head coach Pat Skerry will look to find the Tigers' new leader(s) on the court.

U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam

Dates: Nov. 16-19
Location: UVI Sports & Fitness Center, U.S. Virgin Islands
Teams (Bracket): Oregon State, Old Dominion, Kennesaw State, Missouri, Northern Iowa, Penn, Eastern Kentucky, Kansas State
How to Watch: FloHoops
Mid-Atlantic Spin: Old Dominion's first matchup against Oregon State will be pivotal one if the Monarchs want to test themselves in this tournament. They benefit from a a strong group of returners that could help carry them in the Virgin Islands to some quality wins. 

Air Force Reserve Tip-Off Tournament

Dates: Nov. 16-18
Location: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut
Teams (Bracket): Michigan, George Washington, South Carolina, Providence
How to Watch: ESPN/ ESPN2/ ESPN3
Mid-Atlantic Spin: After dropping two games that George Washington should have easily won, don't expect them to get their first win in this tournament. The rest of the tournament should be great though.

GotPrint.com Legends Classic

Dates: Nov. 19-20
Location: Barclay's Center, Brooklyn, New York
Teams (Bracket): St. John's, California, Temple, VCU
Subregional teams: (Bracket): Bowling Green, Detroit Mercy, Hampton, Loyola
How to Watch: ESPN2/ ESPNU/ ESPN3/ FloHoops
Mid-Atlantic Spin: The Legends Classic, as it always does, features teams with a lot to prove this season. No different for VCU, the Rams are probably not in position, yet, to succeed in this tournament. If they are able to get one win that should be considered a success. Seeing post-injury Marcus Evans square off against top tier competition will likely be the most intriguing part of this tournament for VCU.

Of course the Hampton vs. Loyola contest has caught our eye. The Pirates may have a chance to actually win their whole bracket. 

Fort Myers Tip-Off

Dates: Nov. 19, 21
Location: Suncoast Credit Union Arena, Cypress Lake, Florida
Teams (Bracket): Richmond, Loyola-Chicago, Wyoming, Boston College
How to Watch: FS1
Mid-Atlantic Spin: An excuse to watch a defending Final Four team, Loyola-Chicago, when they play Richmond. Otherwise don't expect the Spiders to get a win.

Battle 4 Atlantis

Dates: Nov. 21-23
Location: Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas
Teams (Bracket): Florida, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Stanford, Butler, Dayton, Virginia, Middle Tennessee State
How to Watch: ESPN/ ESPN2/ ESPNU/ ESPN3/ ESPNews
Mid-Atlantic Spin: What a fantastic field of teams to what early season college basketball. Virginia is the best team on paper and should win the whole thing, but they cannot overlook Middle Tennessee State in their first matchup (cough, cough UMBC).

Las Vegas Holiday Invitational (Little Rock Bracket)

Dates: Nov. 23-24
Location: Jack Stephens Center, Little Rock, Arkansas
Teams: Cal Baptist, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Howard, Little Rock
How to Watch: TBA
Mid-Atlantic Spin: Even though the Bison are considered one of the top teams in the MEAC, there are some questions still around this team. Winning this tournament will answer a lot of those questions. 

Emerald Coast Classic:

Dates: Nov. 23-24
Location: Northwest Florida State College, Niceville, Florida
Teams (Bracket): George Mason, Cincinnati, Baylor, Ole Miss
How to Watch: CBSSN, TBA
Mid-Atlantic Spin: Expected to compete for an NCAA Tournament bid, the Patriots are going to need to get some quality wins. Any victory in the Emerald Coast Classic will at least get them one for starters. There best luck to get that win will come in their second game of the tournament. Winning both games will confirm their postseason hopes.

Note: Several other Mid-Atlantic teams are scheduled to play in non-bracketed events, including Radford, Maryland and UMBC. Since there is no bracket (and no-fun), they are not included on this list. This page may be updated as tournament information changes.

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Inside Zion Williamson's injury, a busted shoe and a busted knee

Inside Zion Williamson's injury, a busted shoe and a busted knee

In the opening moments of last night's matchup between the Duke Blue Devils and the North Carolina Tar Heels at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the sports world came to a standstill.

The most anticipated clash of the season between two of the most storied programs in the history of college basketball made this the big-ticket event that you did not want to miss. 

Tickets for the bout reached astronomical numbers, rivaling the Super Bowl that took place just weeks ago. Waiting until the morning of the event to purchase a seat? $2,755 on StubHub.

With Ken Griffey Jr., President Barack Obama, and Spike Lee in attendance for the highly-touted scrum, Durham, North Carolina, was the place to be.

And then just like that, thirty seconds after the tip, the sports world stopped.

Dribbling around the key, on the first possession of the night, Zion Williamson's shoe disintegrated in front of the world. The defect caused him to slide, his knee buckling as a result of it and he landed on the floor in pain.

Williamson, the presumed #1 Pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the most brute, physical specimen that college basketball has seen in decades, became human. 

James Gilbert, a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon at The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics who has served as the team physician for Duke Sports Medicine, US Soccer, DC United, the Dallas Cowboys and the Dallas Mavericks, was watching the contest at Cameron Indoor on television last evening and saw the event in real time.

"I don't know if there's ever been an event bigger than this directly in the public eye," said Gilbert. "I've seen it occur in soccer because they have studs in the turf, but never on a basketball court. He's a one in a generation athlete."

Despite being a lifelong fan of his alma mater and wanting to see the most polarizing force in recent memory, Gilbert trusts the judgment and decision to keep Zion out for the remainder of the game.

“I know the doctors at Duke; they would never jeopardize an athlete,” he said. "He's lucky the end result is just a knee sprain, it could have been a lot worse. It's good that the main hospital is only 200 yards away from where he fell."

After Coach Mike Krzyzewski announced that Williamson had suffered a knee sprain, many people wanted the details. How bad was it? How long is he going to be out? 

As in consistent Duke fashion, no info was revealed on the injury and no specifics were given. 

Speculation about the injury began to go mainstream. Questions arose about his future in college basketball, whether he should or should not sit out the rest of his freshman, and likely only season, at the collegiate ranks to prepare for the NBA Draft.

"I've met Zion, I'm sure he wanted to go back in," said Gilbert. "He's had no prior knee injuries to my knowledge and it appears to just be a result of the defective shoe. These shoes are made to grip and cut. They need to start making shoes for larger than average athletes like him."

Gilbert doesn't expect Williamson to be out long, he believes the team was extra cautious in handling last night's situation. 

Zion Williamson will have all the time he needs to recover, and college basketball will be ready for his return, whenever that may be. 

Zion Williamson blows out his shoe, leaves Duke vs. UNC with knee injury

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Zion Williamson blows out his shoe, leaves Duke vs. UNC with knee injury

Nothing and no one had been able to stop Zion Williamson in his freshman season with the Duke Blue Devils. That is except for his left shoe. 

Like everything the 6-7 forward has done this season, ripping out of his shoe was impressive.

Shoes don't do that. But of course things are not normal when it comes to Williamson.

After one comprehends what happened to the foot accessory, there is the result of the play that happened in the opening moment of Duke vs. UNC. Williamson grabbed the back of his right knee and had a serious concerned look.

The projected No. 1 pick of the 2019 NBA draft immediately left the contest only 33 seconds into the game. Not too long after he was ruled out for the contest. The initial reaction though is not good. 

As the overwhelming top prospect in the college game, this injury could have huge ramifications on the NBA Draft. Of course it is too early to assume anything on his injury status, but this is right on the heels of the national conversation on if Williamson should shut down the remainder of the Blue Devils' 2019 season. 

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