The early season college basketball tournaments have different formats. Some of the tournaments have a natural bracketed progression, but other events play round-robin games. Here’s one of them.
Also take a look at our early breakdowns for the rest of this year's opening tournaments.
How Does This Tournament Work?
The Hall of Fame Tip-Off and a few similar early season tournaments that one can place College Basketball picks on deviate from a normal eight-team bracketed format. In the normal eight-team, three-game format, the eight teams come to a neutral site to play their three games over three or perhaps four games. The winners of the first round move the semifinals, and the losers immediately move to the consolation bracket. That’s the setup everyone recognizes. In the Hall of Fame Tip-Off and similar events, the format is different. Small schools are set up to play bigger schools in the early stages of the tournament, but there’s no bracketed follow-up to those games based on the results. This tournament then has the smaller schools play each other in subsequent games, and the bigger schools play each other as well.
In the 2014 Hall of Fame Tip-Off, the four smaller schools are Binghamton, Manhattan, Navy, and Northeastern. These teams will go up against Notre Dame, Florida State, Massachusetts, and Providence in various combinations. Binghamton and Navy play Notre Dame and Providence. Manhattan and Northeastern play Florida State and UMass. Then, as mentioned above, the small schools meet while the big schools meet in separate sections of the tournament. Manhattan will play Binghamton and Navy will play Northeastern, with the winners and losers then playing the next day. In the “big school” half of the tournament, the matchups are UMass versus Notre Dame and Providence versus Florida State on day one. On day two, it’s UMass-Florida State and Notre Dame-Providence.
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So How Do The Big School Matchups Look?
The Providence Friars are without their star player from last season. Bryce Cotton was a do-everything point guard with a great handle, tremendous quickness, and a more-than-adequate jump shot. He terrorized North Carolina in the NCAA tournament, nearly leading the Friars to an upset win. He’ll be sorely missed, especially in the first few weeks of the new season.
Notre Dame had a tough year last year and is trying to find its footing in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Notre Dame was not quick enough to compete with a lot of teams in the ACC, and the Irish have to get some breakdown guards who can get to the rim on a consistent basis.
UMass made the NCAA tournament last season, but the Minutemen wore down late in the season and were not even slightly competitive in a loss to Tennessee, a marginal NCAA team that barely made the field.
Florida State is the team with a lot of upside in this event. The Seminoles are landing multiple major recruits and seem to be building momentum as a program. Last year’s team was unpolished, but it never stopped fighting. This year’s team should be a little better, probably on the NCAA tournament bubble.
How To Bet The News
You should love any team that plays Providence in this event, and you should be a little more optimistic about Florida State when it plays UMass in what is probably the best game of this whole tournament. Notre Dame is the true wild card.