Maryland, New Mexico, St. Bonaventure, TCU headline Emerald Coast Classic


NICEVILLE, FLA. — Maryland, New Mexico, St. Bonaventure and TCU headline the eight-team field for the 2017 Emerald Coast Classic, presented by Global Sports.

Jackson State, Maryland Eastern Shore, Omaha, and Tennessee Tech round out the list of teams competing in the tournament.

Maryland competed in the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, advancing to the South Regional Sweet 16. The Terrapins, led by sixth-year coach Mark Turgeon, will be seeking their fourth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2017.

Maryland was ranked No. 22 in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll with a 7-1 record.

“We have assembled another great field in the fourth year of this event, reinforcing our goal of making this one of the top preseason college basketball events annually,” said tournament director Maury Hanks, who is also chief executive officer for Global Sports. “We have four solid basketball programs with rich traditions from some of the top conferences in the country.”

First and second-round games will be played at on-campus sites Nov. 11 through Nov. 21, with the third round and championship round scheduled Thanksgiving weekend on Nov. 24-25 at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, Fla.

No. 7 ranked Virginia captured the recent Emerald Coast Classic championship with a 63-52 victory past Providence last Saturday.

In its storied tradition-rich history Maryland has played in 25 NCAA Tournaments, winning the national championship in 2002. Maryland, a founding member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, left the ACC in 2014 to join the Big Ten Conference.

This marks the third straight year a member of the Big Ten Conference has played in the Emerald Coast Classic with Illinois playing in 2015 and Iowa this year.

New Mexico has been a frequent participant in the NCAA tournament with three straight appearances from 2012-2014. The Lobos, under the guidance of third-year coach Craig Neal, will bring a 5-2 record into a Saturday game at Illinois State.

St. Bonaventure posted a 22-9 record last year, qualifying for the National Invitation Tournament after tying for the Atlantic 10 regular season conference title. St. Bonaventure is 4-2 following an 81-74 victory past Siena Wednesday.

Under the direction of first-year coach Jamie Dixon, TCU is seeking its first post-season appearance since 2012. The Horned Frogs are one of two unbeaten teams in the Big 12 Conference owning a 7-0 record after capturing the Global Sports Classic in Las Vegas, Nev., this past weekend.

Dixon is the only first-year head coach in TCU program history to open a season at 7-0. He arrived at TCU after a successful 13-year career as head coach at Pittsburgh where he led the Panthers to 11 trips to the NCAA Tournament and is the winningest coach by percentage in Big East Conference history.

Omaha, which is a member of the Summit League, went 18-14 last year, while playing in the 2016 College Basketball Invitational.

Jackson State record a 20-16 mark in 2015-16 advancing to the second round of the Post-Season Tournament.

Tennessee Tech, under sixth year coach Steve Payne, competes in the Ohio Valley Conference. Maryland Eastern Shore, guided by third-year coach Bobby Collins, is a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

CBS Sports Network has been the television sponsor for the Emerald Coast Classic for the past three seasons.

Global Sports has produced 38 multi team college basketball tournaments in the past 10 years including four during the 2016-17 season.

Emerald Coast Classic History

2016 — Virginia, champion; Providence, runner-up

2015 — Iowa State, champion; Illinois, runner-up

2014 — Mississippi, champion; Cincinnati, runner-up