Report: Men’s basketball to play in 2017 Emerald Coast Classic

(Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

As CBS Sports insider Jon Rothstein reported this morning, St. Bonaventure is set to play in the Emerald Coast Classic next November.

Maryland, TCU and New Mexico will also headline the eight-team field, with four teams yet to be named.

Each school is guaranteed four games in the tournament. The first and second rounds are played on campus sites, while “championship round” games are held on the campus of Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, Fl over Thanksgiving weekend. The games in Niceville are broadcast on CBS Sports Network.

Bona is the first A-10 team to play in the event, which began in 2014. Illinois, Iowa St., UAB and Virginia Tech participated last year, while Cincinnati, Creighton and Ole Miss played in the inaugural tourney.

The field is more prestigious than the Lone Star Showcase competition the Bonnies will play this Thanksgiving break. Arkansas-Little Rock, Central Michigan and Pepperdine were all postseason teams a season ago, but Maryland and TCU play in the Big Ten Conference and Big 12 Conference, respectively.

SBU struggles to schedule teams in the “Power Five” (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12, SEC), only facing one a year on average. Matching up against two of those schools on national TV in one weekend will boost the program’s strength of schedule and visibility.

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