On Wednesday, Northwestern announced the addition of a non-conference tournament to their schedule.
Schedule Alert: Northwestern to Participate in 2017 Hall of Fame Tip-off Tournament.— NU Men's Basketball (@NUMensBball) May 11, 2017
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The tournament will be played at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. In the first round, Northwestern will face La Salle. Depending on the results of that game and the results of Texas Tech vs. Boston College, they will face the winner or loser of that game in the second round.
The Wildcats will travel to Connecticut on November 18th and 19th to play in the tournament. In addition to the games in Mohegan Sun, Northwestern will face two other mid-major teams at Allstate Arena before and after the tournament. On November 13, Northwestern will face St. Peter’s, and on November 24, Northwestern will face Sacred Heart.
Chris Collins is excited to be coaching his team in the tournament this upcoming season.
“Our program is thrilled to have the chance to participate in a tournament with as rich of a history as the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.," Northwestern Sullivan-Ubben head men's basketball coach Chris Collins said. "It's always exciting anytime you have the opportunity to play for a championship and we look forward to challenging ourselves early in the season."
The Tournament is sponsored by the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), and has hosted some impressive teams in the history of the program. In the tournament every year, there are two brackets: The Naismith bracket and the Springfield Bracket. Northwestern will be in the Naismith Bracket along with Boston College, Texas Tech University and La Salle University.
In the Springfield bracket, the teams are: University of Maine, Sacred Heart University, St. Peter’s University, and the University of South Alabama.
Most recently, in 2016, Duke took home the Naismith championship trophy and Grand Canyon took home the Springfield Trophy. Other teams who participated last year were Albany, Brown, Marist, Penn State, Cincinnati, and Rhode Island. Other notable winners of the Naismith Trophy include Purdue in 2015, Providence in 2014, North Carolina in 2013, Ohio State in 2012 and Kentucky in 2011.
The Hall of Fame Tip is one of the most well- known non-conference basketball tournaments. When the announcement was made, John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame, shared his excitement for this upcoming year.
“The Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament at Mohegan Sun saw record attendance last year and has become one of the most competitive collegiate events in the early season,” said John L. Doleva. “Mohegan Sun is a beautiful venue and we look forward to hosting this year’s teams and loyal fans.”
Northwestern will have the opportunity to win this tournament, and in doing so, they would put their name next to other elite basketball programs. Coming off of a season for the record books, Northwestern will look to continue to build their non-conference schedule and return to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history.
With four of their five starters returning and added depth in the front court and back court, Northwestern should have the starters and bench it will need to continue to improve and build upon last season.