A new early-season tournament has been added to the college basketball schedule beginning in 2018. On Wednesday afternoon, ESPN sent out a press release announcing the launch of the Myrtle Beach Invitational which will take place Nov. 15, 16 and 18, at the HTC Center on the campus of Coastal Carolina University.
Participating teams will be Cal State Fullerton, Saint Joseph’s, UCF, Valparaiso, Wake Forest, West Virginia and Western Kentucky, with an eighth team being added to the field at a later date.
“We are excited to launch the Myrtle Beach Invitational,” said Pete Derzis, ESPN senior vice president of college sports programming and ESPN Events, in a statement. “After collaborating with Visit Myrtle Beach and the city of Myrtle Beach to move last year’s Puerto Rico Tip-Off to the area due to the effects of Hurricane Maria, we saw first-hand the community’s outstanding facilities and passion for college basketball. Based on that experience, we determined that Myrtle Beach would be an ideal location for college basketball teams and their fans to visit each November.”
Cal State Fullerton and West Virginia participated in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, with the Mountaineers advancing to the Sweet 16.
Western Kentucky advanced to the semifinals of the NIT.
“We are excited to host ESPN and eight Division I men’s college basketball programs in November for the inaugural Myrtle Beach Invitational,” said Carla Schuessler, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce Chair of the Board. “We are also looking forward to welcoming all the fans to our destination; in addition to the exciting action on the court, the Myrtle Beach area has so much to offer fans from the beautiful beach, to dining and attractions.
The early season tournaments are always a great way to get an early look at teams facing off against opponents they usually may not get to face throughout the season and a way to add extra excitement to some early season games.