St. Louis – Saint Louis will face Texas A&M Monday, Nov. 19, at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., in the Championship Round of the 2012 CBE Hall of Fame Classic, the National Association of Basketball Coaches announced today. The following day (Nov. 20), the Billikens will play either Kansas or Washington State in the consolation or championship game.
The Bills and Aggies tip at 6:30 p.m. (CT), with the game televised on ESPNU. Washington State and Kansas will play in the other semifinal matchup immediately following. The championship doubleheader on Tuesday, Nov. 20, starts at 6 p.m. (CT) with the consolation game on ESPN3, followed by the championship game on ESPNU.
The Billikens, who finished 26-8 last year and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament, will be looking for their second in-season tournament win in as many seasons. Last year, SLU topped Boston College, Villanova and Oklahoma to claim the Anaheim Classic (then the 76 Classic), the Bills' first in-season tournament win since 1986.
Last season, Texas A&M posted a 14-18 record and a 4-14 mark in their final year in the Big 12. This season, the Aggies embark on their first season in the Southeastern Conference, and they return their leading scorer in senior guard Elston Turner (13.8 ppg). Kansas, a possible opponent on Nov. 20, advanced to the NCAA title game last season. Washington State returns three starters from last year's team that advanced to the championship round of the College Basketball Invitational (CBI).
As part of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic, the Billikens will play two games at Chaifetz Arena before heading to Kansas City. USC Upstate comes to St. Louis for the season opener, which will be played as early as Friday, Nov. 9. Santa Clara is the other opponent in a game that will be played the following week.
USC Upstate went 21-13 overall and 13-5 in the Atlantic Sun a season ago, advancing to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. The Spartans boast an Associated Press honorable mention All-American in junior forward Torrey Craig, who averaged 16.4 ppg and 7.7 rpg last season. Santa Clara, which joined the Billikens in the 2011 Anaheim Classic and upended New Mexico, finished 8-22 a season ago. Four Broncos had double-figure scoring averages, with all returning for the 2012-13 campaign.
The CBE Hall of Fame Classic is named after the College Basketball Experience, the award-winning and highly interactive college basketball fan facility adjacent to the Sprint Center, which also features the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Tickets for the Championship Round games at Sprint Center are on sale and may be purchased through www.axs.com, www.sprintcenter.com, www.cbehalloffameclassic.com, by phone at 1-888-929-7849 or in person at the Sprint Center Box Office.