Sports

Alabama, KU in Florida part of ’21-22 event fields

After a one-year hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic, ESPN’s entire slate of men’s college basketball multiteam events will return for the 2021-22 season.

The fields for the Charleston Classic, Myrtle Beach Invitational, NIT Season Tip-Off, ESPN Events Invitational, Wooden Legacy and Diamond Head Classic were announced Thursday, with 15 teams from the 2021 NCAA tournament taking part.

Thursday’s announcement is headlined by the ESPN Events Invitational, which will take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Florida, during ESPN’s Feast Week in late November. Its field is led by preseason top-10 teams Alabama and Kansas, along with potential top-25 team Belmont. Drake, Iona and North Texas — all NCAA tournament teams last season — will also play in the event.

The four-team NIT Season Tip-Off features three projected NCAA tournament teams — Memphis, Virginia Tech and Xavier — while defending Atlantic 10 champion St. Bonaventure could jump-start its top-25 campaign as the potential favorite in the Charleston Classic.

The State Farm Champions Classic will tip off the lineup on Nov. 9 and features Duke vs. Kentucky and Kansas vs. Michigan State. Fields for the remaining events, including the Armed Forces Classic, PK Invitational and men’s and women’s Jimmy V Classic, will be announced at a later date.

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