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NKU men’s basketball to host three-day tournament in November, will feature NCAA Tourney squads

By Don Owen
NKyTribune reporter

It’s a guessing game for Northern Kentucky University fans at the moment, but the Norse men’s basketball team will be hosting a three-day tournament at BB&T Arena this November.

The others teams involved? That’s where the guessing begins.

NKU head coach John Brannen recently said in an email to boosters that among the Norse home games is “our first multi-team event” that will feature “two sets of games on three straight days in November.”

Brannen also added: “This field consists of four teams that have all participated in the NCAA Tournament at least once since 2013.”

NKU will meet Northern Illinois twice, Eastern Kentucky, Morehead State, Cincinnati, Miami (Ohio), Maryland-Baltimore County, and host this November tournament as part of the non-conference schedule. But who will be in the Norse’s tournament?

James Madison, Florida Gulf Coast, Bucknell, Akron, South Dakota State, Western Kentucky and Davidson all played in the 2013 NCAA Tournament and are possibilities. Manhattan, UNC Asheville, UNC Greensboro and Texas Southern could also be possible participants.

Dayton, Marshall, Valparaiso and Lipscomb are other programs that might be geographic fits for the three-day event at NKU.

A year ago, Dayton played in the three-day Gildan Charleston Classic in South Carolina. It was in November, too. The Flyers played Hofstra, Ohio and Old Dominion during that three-day event. Anthony Grant, whom Brannen worked for as an assistant at both Alabama and Virginia Commonwealth, is the current head coach at Dayton.

Marshall is located in West Virginia, and it’s also Brannen’s alma mater. Brannen — who played at Morehead State before transferring to Marshall — scored 1,008 points in two seasons for the Thundering Herd.

NKU has released a partial list of opponents and dates for 2018-19 at this point. A complete schedule is expected later this summer.

Contact Don Owen at don@nkytrib.com and follow him on Twitter at @dontribunesport

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