Friday, November 8, 2013

North Carolina and Louisville highlight Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament

 By Zachary Baru

The Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament continues to grow, gaining even more national exposure this year from the biggest names in college basketball.  This year's tournament at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut running from November 23-24 will feature eight division I teams competing in two brackets, highlighted by Louisville and North Carolina, which will have the opportunity to face each other on the final day of the tournament.

Last year's Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament
at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The Naismith bracket will include North Carolina, Louisville, Richmond and Fairfield.  The Springfield bracket will be a little more regional, including Hartford, Holy Cross, Hofstra, and Belmont.  Saturday, November 23 will include two games from each bracket, with the North Carolina and Louisville games at noon and 2 p.m. respectively.  On Sunday, each bracket's winners will face-off in the championship games, with the Naismith bracket's game at 1 p.m. and the Springfield bracket's game at approximately 8 p.m.  Sunday will also include consolation games for each bracket.

What all of this means for the Basketball Hall of Fame is that the tournament continues to grow, expanding national media coverage and attention.  With top teams like Louisville and North Carolina, the tournament now has the potential to reach audiences nationwide.  All of this is exciting news for the Hall of Fame, which will gladly take any attention the tournament can bring to the museum.

The tournament was played as the Tip-Off Classic between 1979 and 2005 at the Springfield Civic Center/MassMutual Center.  It is the only exempt NCAA Division I college basketball tournament in New England, where teams receive exempted status for scheduling.

The 9,323-seat Mohegan Sun Arena is the perfect venue, and proved to be a great host last year, attracting 9,866 fans to the two-day event in 2012.  Although the tournament is not in Springfield, it still puts a spotlight on the Hall of Fame, and provides a resort destination and hospitality for the eight participating teams.  As the Hall of Fame looks to the future, the growth of this tournament looks bright.

Zach Baru can be followed on Twitter @zbaru and reached at

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