ESPN has cooked up a Thanksgiving weekend basketball feast so big that even if a match-up or two turns out to be a proverbial “turkey” the event still will provide roundball junkies with a memorable holiday treat.
The fourth annual Old Spice Classic at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex will feature eight teams – six of which reached the postseason last spring – in 12 games over three days, Nov. 26-27 and Nov. 29. Alabama, Baylor, Creighton, Florida State, Iona, Marquette, Michigan and Xavier will compete, each playing a game per day through a bracket-tournament format at Walt Disney World Resort.
First-round games on Nov. 26 (all times are ET): Creighton vs. Michigan, 12 noon (ESPN2), Marquette vs. Xavier, 2 p.m. (ESPN2), Alabama vs. Baylor, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN2) and Florida State vs. Iona, 9 p.m. (ESPNU). The two teams that remain undefeated through the first two days of play will face off in a championship match on Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2).
Each of the three previous years, the Old Spice Classic has produced a champion from a different conference, including Gonzaga (West Coast Conference) last year with a championship game win over Tennessee (Southeastern Conference). Arkansas claimed the inaugural title in 2006 and North Carolina State won the Classic in 2007.
Tickets for the 2009 Old Spice Classic are on sale at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 407/839-3900. Fans also can purchase travel packages to the tournament. Information is available at AnthonyTravel.com or by calling 800/736-6377.