Right behind March Madness, college basketball fans’ favorite time of the year are the early season tournaments and multi-team events. This year, several Mountain West teams will get an early challenge against quality opponents in some great tournaments. There are also some key non-conference games that everyone will need to keep an eye on as well. Here is this week’s viewer’s guide for all the early season tournaments and other non-conference games:
Charleston Classic: Charleston, SC will be host to one of the best fields of all early-season tournaments. One of those teams, while not necessarily the biggest draw, is Boise State. The Broncos get a tough test in the first game against No. 22 St. Bonaventure on Nov. 18 and will get either Temple or Clemson the next day. Also in the tournament are West Virginia, Ole Miss, Marquette, and Elon. All games will be on the ESPN family of networks.
Myrtle Beach Invitational: Coming off a great win against Richmond on a neutral site, the Utah State Aggies head to Conway, SC for the Myrtle Beach Invitational. Utah State faces Penn in its first-round game and will get either Davidson or New Mexico State in the next round. Also featured in the tournament are Oklahoma, East Carolina, Old Dominion, and Indiana State. All games will be broadcast on ESPN2/ESPNU.
Paradise Jam Tournament: First-place Colorado State will get its first challenge of the season at the U.S. Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam Tournament. The Rams get the Bradley Braves on Nov. 19 and will get either Brown or Creighton the next day or Nov. 21, with the final day of the tournament taking place Nov. 22. Also featured in this tournament is the Colorado Buffaloes and all games will be available on ESPN3 or ESPN+. It is never too early to start talking about NCAA Tournament resume building and wins against the Blue Jays and Buffaloes could propel the Rams up the seed list in March.
Roman Main Event: The Runnin’ Rebels will not have to travel far for their tournament, as they take part in the Roman Main Event at T-Mobile Arena, just a few minutes from the Thomas & Mack Center. 3-0 UNLV will get No. 4 Michigan, who is coming off a loss to unranked Seton Hall, on Nov. 19 at 9:30 pm PT (or very early on Nov. 20 for the east coast viewers). The winner goes to the championship game to face either Arizona or Wichita State on Sunday. UNLV-Michigan will be on ESPN2 and the Sunday games will be on either ESPN or ESPN 2.
Sunshine Slam: One of the pods of this year’s Sunshine Slam in Daytona Beach, FL will feature the Air Force Falcons. They will play in a four-team bracket along with Bryant, Holy Cross, and Bethune-Cookman. The semifinals will be on Nov. 20, as the Falcons will get Holy Cross. The winner goes to the championship game and will get the winner of Bryant and Bethune-Cookman. All games will be broadcast on FloHoops.
Crossover Classic: The Nevada Wolf Pack travels up to Sioux Falls, SD to take part in the Crossover Classic running from Nov. 22-24. This will be a round-robin event featuring South Dakota State, Washington, and George Mason, along with the Wolf Pack. Everybody will play everyone and Nevada will get a tough challenge with everyone in the field. All games will be on ESPN+
One More Game: Arizona State at San Diego State (Nov. 18, 7:30 pm PT, CBSSN)
Last season the Aztecs defeated then-ranked Arizona State in Tempe. Now the Sun Devils make their way to San Diego in what should be a great battle. Arizona State is 2-1 and the highlight, or lowlight on Sun Devils fans’ eyes, was the full-court buzzer-beater UC Riverside had to beat them. The Aztecs are coming off a loss against BYU, 66-60 last Saturday.