PRINCETON, N.J. - - Belmont University men's basketball will take part in the eighth annual Gotham Classic, tournament organizer Gazelle Group announced Monday.
Belmont, which earned an at-large bid and victory in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, will play four games in the event which runs Nov. 13-27.
"We're excited to participate in the Gotham Classic and be a part of a quality field of teams," Belmont head coach Casey Alexander said. "These games will provide our team with a great test early in the season."
The Bruins will open Nov. 16 at Boston College of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Eagles have taken positive strides under head coach Jim Christian, who enters his sixth season. In 2013, Belmont defeated Christian and his Ohio University Bobcat team, 81-62, in the final game of the ESPN BracketBusters series. Interestingly, Belmont's Kevin McClain and Boston College's Ky Bowman were teammates on the Golden State Warriors during NBA Summer League. The meeting could be a potential reunion for Belmont and Evan Bradds, the program's NCAA Division I era career scoring leader; Bradds currently serves on the coaching staff of the Boston Celtics.
Two days later, Belmont will welcome High Point University of the Big South Conference to the Curb Event Center. The Panthers, coming off a 16-15 season, are led by three-time National Coach of the Year and High Point graduate Tubby Smith. Smith led the University of Kentucky to the 1998 national championship; it marks the first time a head coach with Final Four coaching experience will bring a program to Belmont since Shaka Smart's nationally-ranked VCU team came to the Curb Event Center Dec. 1, 2013.
Belmont will travel to reigning Atlantic 10 Conference champion Saint Louis Nov. 23. The Billikens won 23 games last season under fourth year head coach Travis Ford. The game will serve as a homecoming for Belmont freshman guard EJ Bellinger, who attended Fort Zumwalt South High School in northwest St. Louis. This marks the second meeting between the Bruins and Billikens.
The four-game slate concludes Nov. 26 at Eastern Washington University of the Big Sky Conference. The Eagles won 16 games last season and reached the Big Sky Conference championship game. It will be Belmont's first game in the Evergreen State since its last-second setback at the University of Washington to open the 2018 season. The Bruins should see a familiar face that evening, as former Belmont digital correspondent and team videographer Grace Chapin serves as a news reporter and weather anchor at KHQ-TV (NBC) in Spokane, Washington.
Tip times and television coverage will be announced at a later date.
For more information, log onto gothamclassic.com.
Belmont University men's basketball has earned postseason invitations 13 of the last 14 seasons, including eight berths to the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins have won 17 conference championships since 2006 - third-most nationally over that span (Gonzaga, Kansas). Belmont is one of only six NCAA Division I programs outside the Power 5 to post Top 100 RPIs nine consecutive seasons (BYU, Gonzaga, Saint Mary's (CA), San Diego State, Wichita State). Belmont is one of only nine NCAA Division I programs to win 19 or more games 14 consecutive seasons (BYU, Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan State, North Carolina, San Diego State). Belmont University men's basketball boasts an NCAA-leading 17 CoSIDA Academic All-America selections since 2001 and is one of only three NCAA Division I programs to make the NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) Honor Roll every year of existence.