The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has announced the field for its annual November Tournament. The official Twitter page for NCAA March Madness broke the story.
It certainly is an eclectic field. The Florida Gators went undefeated in SEC play and made the Final Four in 2014, but took a step back in going 16-17 (8-10 SEC) last season and did not qualify for the NCAA tournament. Moreover, there’s a chance that longtime coach Billy Donovan will leave for the NBA and not be manning the sidelines. Considering how he has coached the Gators since 1996 and brought the program two national championships, that’d be a big change.
Then there are the Buffalo Bulls, a fast and scrappy team that made its first NCAA tournament under former Duke standout Bobby Hurley this past season. Hurley is now the new head coach at Arizona State and assistant Nate Oats took over, so it will be interesting to see how the players respond to him.
The rest of the field is a mixed bag. Old Dominion just went 27-9 en route to the NIT semifinals, Purdue just barely lost in the NCAA tournament’s round of 64 after making the big dance for the first time since 2012, Vermont continues to make noise in the America East, and the remaining schools in St. Joe’s, Niagara and North Carolina A&T are looking to rise back up after making the NCAA tournament various times over the past few years.
The participating schools may not be a sexy bunch, but should still provide college hoops fanatics with some solid games to watch early in the season
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports