By RENALDO DORSETT
THE field has been named and the bracket is now set for the 5th edition of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Already touted as one of the top early season tournaments in NCAA basketball, event organisers released the bracket this week, giving an early look at the matchups we can expect in the Imperial Arena at the Atlantis Resort, November 23-25.
The 2016 tournament includes the Michigan State Spartans, the Louisville Cardinals, the Wichita State Shockers, St John’s Red Storm, Virginia Commonwealth University Rams, Baylor Bears, LSU Tigers and Old Dominion Monarchs.
The opening session, broadcast live on ESPN2, will feature Wichita State against LSU, November 23 at 12pm, followed by Baylor against VCU at 2:30pm. The evening session on day one, broadcast on AXS TV, will feature Michigan State against St John’s at 7pm and concludes with Old Dominion against Louisville at 9:30pm.
The championship game will take place November 25 at 3:30pm live on ESPN and ESPN2.
This year’s tournament will mark the third consecutive year that a Bahamian will play at home in the Battle 4 Atlantis with point guard Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn who just finished his sophomore season with the Spartans.
The 2016 field will also mark the second time the Cardinals will play in the Battle 4 Atlantis following their appearance in 2012. They fell to Duke in the tournament finale in Nassau but went on to win the NCAA national title.
The 2015 tournament featured a strong Bahamian presence with the Texas A and M Aggies’ Tavario Miller and Texas Longhorns’ Shaquille Cleare.
Buddy Hield of the Oklahoma Sooners and Wannah Bail of the UCLA Bruins became the first Bahamians to play in the tournament when they competed in 2014.
The tournament is staged at the 3,900-seat Imperial Arena, a ballroom converted to a basketball venue.
The event is televised live on ESPN and AXS TV. ESPN2 airs opening round games while ESPN airs the semi-finals, third place and championship games.