By RENALDO DORSETT
THE brackets have been released and the stage is now set for the fourth edition of the Battle 4 Atlantis November 26-28.
The eight-team field will feature the North Carolina Tar Heels, Georgetown Hoyas, UCLA Bruins, Florida Gators, Wisconsin Badgers, Oklahoma Sooners, UAB Blazers and Butler Bulldogs.
The tournament tips off on Wednesday (November 26) when the Tar Heels will face the Bulldogs at 12pm.
The second game of the tournament should be of particular note to the Bahamian public as it will feature a matchup of Bahamian players competing for their respective universities in the B4A for the first time.
Buddy Hield and the Oklahoma Sooners will face Wannah Bail and the UCLA Bruins at 2pm. For the Sooners, Hield is headed into his junior season as the team’s leading scorer and first round NBA draft prospect.
In the 2013/14 campaign, Hield was recognised among the best players in his conference, the Big 12. He was named to the All-Big 12 second team and increased his scoring average by nine points per game from his sophomore year. He also saw his field goal percentage rise from 38 per cent to 45 per cent and his three-point shooting increase from 23 per cent to 40 per cent.
Hield finished the regular season ranked No.9 in the Big 12 in scoring at 16.8 points per game, second in steals at 1.5 per game, third in three-point field goals made at 2.8 per game and fourth in three-point percentage.
Wannah Bail enters his sophomore season with the UCLA Bruins after a lengthy recruiting process which took him all the way to the Canary Islands for a season.
In an injury plagued freshman season, Bail played in 13 games, averaged 1.6 points and 0.6 rebounds per game. Bail missed UCLA’s first five games of the season while recovering from left knee surgery (to repair torn cartilage), performed on June 28, 2013 and re-injured his left knee prior to the Pac-12 Tournament and was unable to play in UCLA’s final six games. He underwent surgery on March 11, 2014, to remove torn cartilage in his left knee. The versatile Bail was one of the top front-court prospects out of the state of Texas for the class of 2012.
The winner of the Sooners-Bruins matchup would go on to face the winner of game one.
The other half of the bracket will feature a pair of 2013 Final Four teams in Florida and Wisconsin. The Badgers and Blazers will meet the Hoyas in the opening round 7pm November 26, while the Gators and Hoyas are slated to meet at 9:30pm.
The championship is November 28 at the 3,900-seat Imperial Arena, a ballroom converted to a basketball venue. The event will be televised live on ESPN and AXS TV.
ESPN2 will air game’s one and two while ESPN will air the semi-finals, third place and championship games.