Initially reported by Jon Rothstein at CBS, the Nebraska Cornhuskers have announced the first seven teams that have officially signed on for what is expected to be a 16-team tournament in Lincoln hosted by Elevate Hoops to start the season. The initial field includes:
Sources: Elevate Hoops (@elevatehoopscbb) will be hosting an MTE in Lincoln, Nebraska that features Nebraska, LSU, Northern Iowa, Nevada, Illinois State, & Cleveland State.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) October 6, 2020
More teams will be added.
A burgeoning event to monitor during college basketball's "Golden Window".
Other teams, particularly from the immediate vicinity of Lincoln, are expected to be announced soon. Both LSU and Northern Iowa had over 20 wins last season and LSU is projected to be an AP Top 25 team after coming off a Sweet 16 appearance in the 2019 tournament.
Personally, I think the Kansas State Wildcats are a likely candidate for joining the multi-team event (MTE) given they were originally scheduled for a neutral court game against Nebraska in the non-conference schedule originally announced. It helps that their own MTE they were scheduled to participate in, the Cayman Islands Classic, was cancelled as well freeing them up for Nebraska’s MTE. Other Power Six programs scheduled for the Cayman Islands Classic, but not in immediate geographical proximity include Ole Miss, Oregon State, and Miami.
Other teams in the immediate area and their current MTE or other similar event commitments include:
- Nebraska-Omaha, scheduled for the Gulf Coast Showcase
- Creighton and Wichita State, both are scheduled for the Battle 4 Atlantis that was moved to the Sanford Pentagon
- Missouri, scheduled for the Myrtle Beach Invitational (which Nebraska pulled out of)
- Kansas is still tentatively scheduled for the Wooden Legacy and will be in the Champions Classic
- Iowa State, whose MTE the Emerald Coast Classic was cancelled
- South Dakota, scheduled for an Iowa Hawkeyes hosted MTE
- SD State, the Jackrabbits are scheduled for a Wyoming hosted tournament
- Colorado, scheduled for the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off event (with Wisconsin)
- Oklahoma, scheduled for the Diamond Head Classic which was moved to Orlando
The tournament in Lincoln is reportedly looking to host 16 teams, though a single bracket format with both a guaranteed and a firm three game cap is unclear at this time. Since the event will last an additional four days, more games will clearly occur outside of the official MTE cap.
While Nebraska will be playing host in terms of the facilities, utilizing Pinnacle Bank Arena (city of Lincoln owned) and the Devaney Center (UNL owned facility), the tournament itself will be hosted by third party Elevate Hoops for legal and liability reasons. Elevate Hoops is reportedly also be responsible for testing protocols and processes. The cost of the tournament is purportedly much lower than other early season events. This might appeal to those able to exit their current scheduled event if they can do so without incurring exit penalties. As the full field is finalized, we will be sure to give you an update.