NICEVILLE, FLA. — Chattanooga,Jacksonville State, Alabama State and Chicago State will round out the field for the sixth annual Emerald Coast Classic college basketball tournament, presented by Global Sports.
The eight-team tournament will be played Thanksgiving weekend Nov. 29-30 at The Arena on the campus of Northwest Florida State College. First and second round games will be played at on-campus sites.
Those schools will join four teams which competed in 2019 NCAA Tournament—Florida State, Purdue, Tennessee and VCU. Florida State, Purdue and Tennessee advance to the Sweet 16.
Head coach Ray Harper has guided Jacksonville Stateto three straight 20-win seasons during his first three years as head coach including an appearance in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
Jacksonville State posted a school-mark 24-9 record this past season finishing third (15-3) — its highest Division I finish in the Ohio Valley Conference — while reaching the semifinal round of the tournament for the third straight year.
Chattanooga is by far the most successful program in the Southern Conference since joining the league in 1977-78. The team has won 30 total titles. That includes 11 regular season, 11 tournament and eight division championships (1995-2013).
Lamont Paris is in his third year as head coach at Chattanooga and will welcome back all five starters from last year’s team including forward Kevin Easley who was named the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year after leading the team with a 14.2 scoring average and a 6.7 rebounding average.
Lewis Jackson will enter his 12thyear as head coach at Alabama State, which competes in the Southwest Athletic Conference. He has led the Hornets to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2009 and 2011.
Chicago State, under the guidance of second-year head coach Lance Irvin, competes in the Western Athletic Conference.
Global Sports has produced 42 multi-team college basketball tournaments in the past 12 years including two during the 2018-19 season.