NICEVILLE, FLA. — Game matchups for the eighth annual Emerald Coast Classic were announced by Global Sports Tuesday.
Eight teams will compete Nov. 25-26 in the tournament which will be held at Raider Arena on the campus of Northwest Florida State College.
Iowa will face Clemson in a semifinal round game at 6 p.m. central time on Friday, Nov. 25, while TCU will play Cal at 8:30 p.m. The third-place game will be played at 3 p.m. on Saturday Nov. 26 with the championship game scheduled for a 6 p.m. tip off on that Saturday.
Both Iowa and TCU played in the 2022 NCAA Tournament with the Horned Frogs beating Seton Hall, 69-42, in the first round. TCU fell to top-seeded Arizona, 85-80, in overtime in the second round.
Iowa captured the 2022 Big Ten Conference Tournament championship, tied for fourth in the conference standings and won 26 overall games, the second most wins in a season in program history.
Fran McCaffery has coached Iowa to 20-plus wins eight of the last 10 seasons, including four straight years. The Hawkeyes have competed in the last three NCAA Tournaments and have been ranked in the final Associated Press Poll each of the last three years: No. 16 in 2020, No. 8 in 2021 and No. 25 in 2022.
The Horned Frogs’ second NCAA Tournament bid under coach Jamie Dixon was their fourth postseason appearance in the five seasons that postseason was held, the best in program history.
TCU has all five starters returning from its 2021-22 team which finished 21-13, its fourth 20-win season in six years under Dixon with a program-record five wins over AP Top 25 teams. TCU surged late with consecutive victories over top-10 opponents in Texas Tech and Kansas to secure a NCAA Tournament berth.
Returning starting forwards Hunter Tyson and PJ Hall will key the fortunes for Clemson, which won five of its last six games to close out the 2021-22 campaign. Brad Brownell is the winningest coach in Clemson history, earning 218 victories in 12 years while guiding the Tigers to the 2021 NCAA Tournament, 2018 Sweet 16, 2011 NCAA Tournament and three NIT appearances.
Mark Fox will enter his fourth season as the head men’s basketball coach at Cal and has averaged nearly 19 wins each year in his 17-year coaching career. In previous stops at Nevada and Georgia, Fox has guided teams to five appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Cal boasts 28 postseason appearances, including 19 NCAA Tournament appearances.
Other games at Northwest Florida State College on Friday Nov. 25 have Southern playing Loyola Maryland at 11 am while Louisiana Monroe meets Omaha at 1:30 p.m. These teams will play their second game Nov. 26 with tip offs at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Keith Richard enters his 13th year as head coach at Louisiana Monroe, which competes in the Sun Belt Conference.
Southern Head Coach Sean Woods was named the National Association of Basketball Coaches District 22 Coach of the Year this past season after guiding Southern to a 17-14 record, including a 12-6 mark in the Southwestern Athletic Conference record.
Jaylin Andrews and Kenneth Jones return as graduate students to lead a veteran Loyola Maryland, where Tavaras Hardy enters his fifth year as head coach. Andrews averaged 13.7 points and 4.1 rebounds, while Jones led the Patriot League with 4.6 assists per game.
Omaha, which plays in the Summit League, also played in the 2017 Emerald Coast Classic. Chris Crutchfield will begin his first year as head coach at his alma mater – Omaha – after spending the past year as an assistant coach at Oregon.
On campus first-round games start Nov. 17 with TCU hosting Louisiana Monroe. Cal hosts Southern on Nov. 18 and Omaha travels to Iowa and Loyola Maryland visits Clemson on Nov. 21.
Tickets will go on sale later this summer. For more tournament information visit www.emeraldcoastclassic.com
Global Sports has produced 49 multi-team college basketball tournaments since 2007 with two more slated for the 2022-23 season.
Emerald Coast Classic history
2021 — LSU, champion; Wake Forest, runner-up
2019 — Florida State, champion; Purdue, runner-up
2018 — Cincinnati, champion; Ole Miss, runner-up
2017 — TCU, champion; St. Bonaventure, runner-up
2016 — Virginia, champion; Providence, runner-up
2015 — Iowa State, champion; Illinois, runner-up
2014 — Ole Miss, champion; Cincinnati, runner-up