Before the NCAA hoops season really gets underway, most schools run off to Hawaii, Alaska, or the Caribbean to play in an 8-team tournament to prepare for the upcoming conference schedules. I know New England is not the most exotic of destinations compared to Maui or the Bahamas. I also understand some of the big brands like BC or UCONN may thumb their nose at this smaller regional tournament. However, dream with me, will you? Looking at the potential match-ups and markets, this could become something special in our area for men's basketball.
CT: CCSU / UCONN / Fairfield / Hartford / Quinnipiac / Sacred Heart / Yale
MA: Boston Coll / BU / Harvard / Holy Cross / UMASS / NE / umass-Lowell
RI: Brown / Bryant / Providence / URI
NH: Dartmouth / UNH
There are 22 D1 Men's basketball programs in New England. It would be great for all 22 to be involved. There are rules on how many tourney games you are allowed to play in the calendar year. Perhaps an 8-team tournament would be more appealing for the NCAA to allow happen. It would be cool to have all of the states represented and our best teams in the field. When setting the field, hearts will be broken and snubs will be abound. If the field was set solely on finishing RPI from the previous year, the teams and rankings of our 8-team field may surprise you from 2019.
(RPI Rank - School)
51 - Yale vs 135 - UCONN
54 - NE vs 119 - Rhode Island
56 - Harvard vs 118 - Brown
64 - Vermont vs 97 - Providence
(in case you were wondering, BC finished with a 169th rated RPI)
I believe this would be something special that would get all the New England fans ready for basketball.
Props go to David Fisch for sparking this conversation with me during one of his pop-in early morning sports convos.