Feast Week Preview

FEAST WEEK IS HERE! Starting November 18th, college basketball fans witness 11 straight days of high-quality college basketball tournaments. Some of the best teams from around the country will compete in MTEs that showcase amazing talent. For example, if you aren’t watching the first round of the Maui Invitational on Monday at 3:30, what are you really doing with your life? Simply put, it’s a time where no matter what time it is, you can find a college basketball game on television. The Feast Week Preview is a way to keep track of all the important tournaments happening throughout the week; without further ado, here it is.

The tournaments that will be covered in this preview are…

  • Hall of Fame Tip-Off
  • Maui Invitational
  • Fort Myers Tip-Off
  • Hall of Fame Classic
  • Good Sam Empire Classic
  • Battle 4 Atlantis
  • NIT Season Tip-Off
  • ESPN Events Invitational

Feast Week Preview

If a tournament isn’t covered in this article, you can find information about it here. It gives every tournament, game, and time.

Hall of Fame Tip-Off

Teams competing: PurdueVillanovaNorth CarolinaTennessee

This is the most stacked tournament during Feast Week. For example, the two matchups for Saturday are North Carolina vs Purdue and Villanova vs Tennessee. Villanova is an incredibly talented team led by Collin Gillespie and Justin Moore. However, Tennessee is a good team with talent such as Kennedy Chandler. North Carolina has struggled against teams like Brown and Charleston; furthermore, Purdue has annihilated every team it’s played so far. If it’s a tournament where the top seeds win, the finals should be Purdue vs Villanova. This game will be Purdue’s first real test of the season.

Villanova held its own against UCLA, but Purdue has an insane amount of talent including Jaden Ivey, Zach Edey, and Trevion Williams. This final should be a can’t miss on Sunday, and it will be a treat for college basketball fans who are unimpressed with football. I will take Purdue to barely defeat Villanova in what will be a hard-fought game.

Predictions: 

  • Villanova defeats Tennessee
  • Purdue defeats North Carolina
  • Purdue defeats Villanova

 

Maui Invitational

Teams competing: Butler, Chaminade, Houston, Notre Dame, Oregon, Saint Mary’s, Texas A&M, Wisconsin

Which team will see its ranking improve because of the Maui Bump? For those unaware, the Maui Bump is when the winner receives a major bump in the Top 25 due to its victory. The obvious answer is Chaminade. If Chaminade wins the Maui Invitational, I will attend Chaminade. Chaminade plays an Oregon team that is looking for redemption after BYU obliterated them in the Phil Knight Invitational. Other first-round matchups include Houston vs Butler, Texas A&M vs Wisconsin, and Notre Dame vs Saint Mary’s. The setup of the bracket makes it seem that the finals will be Oregon vs Houston. Oregon has plenty of talent, but so does Houston. Notre Dame could be a dark horse for the Finals, but the Fighting Irish aren’t on the level of either Houston or Oregon.

Give me Houston to win it all because Marcus Sasser is having a breakout year, and that’s going to elevate the Cougars above Oregon.

Predictions: 

  • Houston defeats Butler
  • Wisconsin defeats Texas A&M
  • Oregon defeats Chaminade
  • Notre Dame defeats Saint Mary’s
  • Houston defeats Wisconsin
  • Oregon defeats Saint Mary’s
  • Houston defeats Oregon

Fort Myers Tip-Off

Teams competing: Ohio State, Seton Hall, California, Florida

Ohio State seems to be the favorite in this tournament. The Buckeyes are led by EJ Liddell, who is one of the most dominant players in all of the NCAA. However, the Buckeyes have struggled against two of their three opponents. Furthermore, Seton Hall has been doing well to start the season. The Pirates defeated a top team in Michigan, and they have gained respect from many. There is no way California wins as they have struggled against every team that they have played; because of this awful matchup, Florida seems destined to make the championship. The Gators defeated a good Florida State team and have players exceeding expectations. For example, Colin Castleton has become a threat to opposing teams. He can rebound, score, and block. Ohio State vs Seton Hall is an excellent first-round matchup. Will Seton Hall be able to knock off two Big Ten threats?

I think the finals will be Ohio State vs Florida. However, I wouldn’t be shocked if the finals were Seton Hall vs Florida. Seton Hall is extremely hot at the moment, but I’m unsure of whether or not they can defeat Ohio State. Florida vs Ohio State should be a fantastic game, but Florida should win this game. Florida seems to be an excellent team better than most people believe. Besides, I’m not sold on Ohio State being a top team.

Predictions: 

  • Ohio State defeats Seton Hall
  • Florida defeats California
  • Florida defeats Ohio State

Hall of Fame Classic

Teams Competing: Illinois, Cincinnati, Kansas State, Arkansas

I’m only mentioning this tournament because the finals could be a showdown between Arkansas and Illinois. Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn is returning after suspension, and he could wreak absolute havoc on the Razorbacks. However, he has to compete with Arkansas’ Connor Vanover. Vanover is a skilled player, but Cockburn is a one-man wrecking machine. Illinois also has talented players such as Trent Frazier and Andre Curbelo while Arkansas has JD Notae and Chris Lykes. If Curbelo tries to do too much as he did against Marquette, it could cost the Fighting Illini. However, I think Cockburn dominates in his first game back, and Illinois gets back on track after its loss.

Predictions: 

  • Illinois defeats Cincinnati
  • Arkansas defeats Kansas State
  • Illinois defeats Arkansas

Good Sam Empire Classic

Teams Competing: Central Michigan, Bellarmine, UCLA, Gonzaga

This isn’t a tournament as much as it’s a showcase created to feature a rematch of an amazing Final Four game between UCLA and Gonzaga. If the AP polls remain the same, Gonzaga and UCLA should be the top two teams in the country, but there might be a skill gap between the #1 and #2 team. Gonzaga embarrassed a top team in Texas as Drew Timme destroyed the Longhorns. UCLA barely escaped a win against Villanova, and I wonder how legitimate the Bruins actually are. Johnny Juzang is amazing, but the Bruins will struggle to contain Timme with a lack of size. Chet Holmgren further worsens the problem for the Bruins as he can do it all for the Zags. UCLA should give Gonzaga more of a challenge than Texas, but Gonzaga is clearly the best team in the country.

Battle 4 Atlantis

Teams Competing: Loyola Chicago, Michigan State, Auburn, UConn, Syracuse, VCU, Arizona State, Baylor

The Battle 4 Atlantis is absolutely loaded this year with ranked teams and excellent mid-majors. Loyola Chicago is a very talented team that could absolutely make it far in this tournament similar to how Dayton made the Maui finals in 2019. Is that likely to happen? I can’t be sure, but it is a possibility. There are two first-round matchups that shouldn’t be worth watching, but once those two are over, the semifinals get intriguing. This should be Baylor’s to win as James Akinjo, Matthew Mayer, and LJ Cryer form a lethal trio; however, UConn has looked amazing and could be a dark horse. The only issue is the Huskies drew a difficult first-round matchup against Auburn. Jabari Smith has looked excellent for the Tigers and I don’t know if the Huskies have a way to contain him.

Then Syracuse is a dark horse with Buddy Boeheim and Joe Girard looking strong. This is a tournament where there are so many possibilities for a winner. I believe the finals will be Auburn vs Baylor with Baylor coming out victorious. Baylor has just been an amazing team so far, and I expect them to keep this hot streak throughout this tournament. However, these tournaments never have the expected winner, so maybe UConn shocks the world and wins it all.

Predictions: 

  • Loyola Chicago defeats Michigan State
  • Auburn defeats UConn
  • Syracuse defeats VCU
  • Baylor defeats Arizona State
  • Auburn defeats Loyola Chicago
  • Baylor defeats Syracuse
  • Baylor defeats Auburn

NIT Season Tip-Off

Teams Competing: Xavier, Memphis, Iowa State, Virginia Tech

It’s a shame that the first round is Memphis vs Virginia Tech because that should be an excellent game that feels worthy of being a championship game. However, Xavier is an excellent team and should challenge either Memphis or Virginia Tech. Paul Scruggs and Colby Jones form a lethal duo for the Musketeers; however, is it enough to counter Memphis or Virginia Tech? Emoni Bates has been a scoring machine while Jalen Duren has been a menace around the paint for the Tigers; in contrast, the Hokies have a group of guys who could light up the Tigers. Will Keve Aluma, Storm Murphy, or Justyn Mutts decide to be the leading scorer? Deciding a winner for this game will be difficult, but I think the Tigers are able to secure a victory and make people believe in Penny.

For the final, Xavier vs Memphis, Memphis should win, but Xavier is a scrappy team. They keep fighting no matter the opponent, but it’ll be difficult to stop Memphis’ freshmen duo. Jalen Duren can make anyone’s night awful.

Predictions: 

  • Xavier defeats Iowa State
  • Memphis defeats Virginia Tech
  • Memphis defeats Xavier

ESPN Events Invitational

Teams Competing: Dayton, Miami, Kansas, North Texas, Alabama, Iona, Belmont, Drake

This tournament has some intriguing first-round matchups if you love under-the-radar games. Alabama and Iona should be an interesting first-round matchup. Many would think Alabama would run away with this game. However, Iona has talented players in Tyson Jolly, Nelly Junior Joseph, and Elijah Joiner. Alabama is excellent but it looked vulnerable against South Alabama. Could the same happen with Iona? One thing’s for sure. Never underestimate Rick Pitino. Belmont and Drake is a game between two great mid-majors. Grayson Murphy and Nick Muszynski are a great duo for the Bruins while Drake is a solid team all around. Whichever team wins this game will be a major challenge to Alabama. This feels like it’s destined to be Kansas vs Alabama, something that should happen.

Kansas is so deep with scoring options such as Remy Martin, David McCormack, and Ochai Agbaji while Alabama has Keon Ellis, Jaden Shackelford, and Jahvon Quinerly. Kansas seems to be a stronger team at the moment, but Alabama has lots of scoring to stay in the game. It should be an amazing game to watch, so there’s no way the viewers lose here. Kansas has my pick here in a high-scoring game.

Predictions: 

  • Miami defeats Dayton
  • Kansas defeats North Texas
  • Alabama defeats Iona
  • Belmont defeats Drake
  • Kansas defeats Miami
  • Alabama defeats Belmont
  • Kansas defeats Alabama

Thanksgiving is a time for everyone to enjoy being with their families and eat delicious food. However, if your family is bothering you, you can always flip on the TV to see if Iona can truly challenge Alabama.

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