Andy Katz ranks the best non-conference tournaments on ESPN’s networks for the upcoming college basketball season. Below he breaks down the tournaments and storylines to follow:

The top five

1. Atlantis (Nassau, Bahamas), Nov. 27-29

Matchups

  • QF1: Michigan vs. Iowa State
  • QF2: North Carolina vs. Alabama
  • QF3: Gonzaga vs. Southern Miss
  • QF4: Seton Hall vs. Oregon

What to know

  1. Seton Hall should be a top 10 team, and winning this tournament would catapult the Pirates — and Myles Powell — toward a banner season.
  2. North Carolina’s Cole Anthony is as heralded of a newcomer as the Tar Heels have had recently. This tournament could allow him to become a household name.
  3. Gonzaga has a history of doing well in these highly-touted events and getting three wins in Atlantis will push the Zags into the top 10.
  4. This tournament could end up sending seven of the eight to the NCAA tournament with Michigan (new coach Juwan Howard), Oregon, Iowa State and Alabama (new coach Nate Oats) entering the season with a legit shot to make a run for a bid. 

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2. Maui Invitational (Hawaii), Nov. 25-27

Matchups

  • QF1: Dayton vs. Georgia
  • QF2: Michigan State vs. Virginia Tech
  • QF3: Kansas vs. Chaminade
  • QF4: UCLA vs. BYU

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What to know 

  1. Michigan State and Kansas should be 1-2 in the majority of preseason polls. The hope is that the two teams meet in the final.
  2. Three new coaches will be on display here in Virginia Tech’s Mike Young, UCLA’s Mick Cronin and BYU’s Mark Pope.
  3. Dayton is a sleeper in the A-10 and could have a break out tournament in Maui.
  4. Georgia’s highly-touted freshman Anthony Edwards will get his chance to shine in the spotlight and set the narrative for his season.

3. Orlando Invitational (Florida), Nov. 28-29, Dec. 1

Matchups

  • QF1: Maryland vs. Temple
  • QF2: Texas A&M vs. Harvard
  • QF3: USC vs. Fairfield
  • QF4: Davidson vs. Marquette

What to know 

  1. Maryland leads a field with possibly six NCAA tournament teams. The Terps have one of the best 1-2 punches in the country in Anthony Cowan Jr. and Jalen Smith. But this is a sneaky difficult quarterfinal matchup against Temple. Still, it’s good for the Terps to be guaranteed a game against a possible NCAA team (new coach Aaron McKie).
  2. The potential for a shootout exists in Davidson-Marquette where the Wildcats have the tandem of Kellan Grady and Jon Axel Gudmundsson up against Marquette’s Markus Howard.
  3. USC has a heralded freshmen class and this field will test whether or not they are ready for prime time.
  4. Harvard has the hype this season with the return of Bryce Aiken, but the Crimson will have to get by Buzz Williams’ new team — Texas A&M.

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4. Charleston Classic (S.C.) Nov. 21-22 and 24

Matchups

  • QF1: Missouri State vs. Miami
  • QF2: Florida vs. St. Joseph’s
  • QF3: Xavier vs. Towson
  • QF4: Buffalo vs. UConn

What to know

  1. The dream matchup would be Florida-Xavier since both schools could contend for their respective league titles.
  2. The stars on display will be Florida’s Kerry Blackshear Jr. and Xavier’s Naji Marshall.
  3. UConn is the sleeper in the American but if the Huskies are going to be a factor then getting at least two wins here would help dramatically.
  4. Buffalo and Miami enter this field as unknowns and getting a breakthrough win would do wonders for their profiles.

5. Empire Classic (NYC), Nov. 21-22

Matchups

  • SF1: Texas vs. Georgetown
  • SF2: Duke vs. Cal

What to know

  1. Duke-Georgetown would matchup Duke’s Tre Jones against a strong backcourt tandem of James Akinjo and Mac McClung.
  2. Texas needs a strong start after lacking consistency a season ago. Splitting this tournament would be huge, while winning it would be a spring board for the Longhorns.

The rest (No. 6 – No. 13)

6. Myrtle Beach Invitational (Conway, S.C.), Nov. 21-22 and 24

Matchups

  • QF1: Villanova vs. Middle Tennessee
  • QF2: Mississippi State vs. Tulane
  • QF3: Ohio vs. Baylor
  • QF4: Utah vs. Coastal Carolina

What to know

Nova and Baylor are the two teams to watch here with both having a real shot to win their respective conferences. This could be a tournament where the country gets to know Baylor’s Tristan Clark, a star who had his season cut short last year by injury. 

Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu, Hawaii), Dec. 22-23 and 25

Matchups

  • QF1: Houston vs. Portland
  • QF2: Georgia Tech vs. Boise St
  • QF3: UTEP vs. Washington
  • QF4: Ball State vs. Hawaii

What to know

Washington should be the class of this field, but by the time of this tournament, Houston will have figured out its rotation and will be a tough out and a threat to finish near the top of the AAC.

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8. Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.), Nov. 28-29, Dec. 1.

Matchups

  • QF1: Providence vs. Long Beach State
  • QF2: Wake Forest vs. Charleston
  • QF3: UCF vs. Penn
  • QF4: Pepperdine vs. Arizona

What to know

Don’t sleep on the last quarterfinal. Arizona has the hype, but Pepperdine is a WCC sleeper with Waves guard Colbey Ross (19.4 ppg) one of the best players NO ONE discusses.

9. Legends Classic (Brooklyn), Nov. 25-26

Matchups

  • SF1: Wisconsin vs. Richmond
  • SF2: Auburn vs. New Mexico

What to know

The Badgers lost Ethan Happ but have their perimeter back. Auburn lost the majority of its shooting but has a strong post back. A Badgers-Tigers final is the game we all want to see.

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10. NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn), Nov. 27 and 29

Matchups

  • SF1: Ole Miss vs. Penn St.
  • SF2: Oklahoma St. vs. Syracuse

What to know

Syracuse and Penn State have traditionally done well in New York City. But the Nittany Lions are the team that comes into this tournament with higher expectations and need to deliver.

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11. Air Force Reserve Tip-Off (Uncasville, Conn.) Nov. 23-24

Matchups

  • SF1: Virginia vs. UMass
  • SF2: Arizona St. vs. St. John’s

What to know

The Cavaliers will have some growing pains next season but this could be a massive test. Whoever wins ASU-St. John’s will push Virginia and help the Cavs grow and mature (assuming the Cavaliers beat UMass). 

12. MGM Main Event (Las Vegas), Nov. 25 and 27

Matchups

  • SF1: Colorado vs. Wyoming
  • SF2: TCU vs. Clemson

What to know

The Buffalos are ready to make a move in the Pac-12 and become an NCAA tournament team. To do that, a win against this solid field would be a good start.

13. Hall of Fame Classic (Kansas City), Nov. 25-26

Matchups

  • SF1: Butler vs. Missouri
  • SF2: Oklahoma vs. Stanford

What to know

Butler’s Kamar Baldwin has had a sensational career with the Bulldogs. This could be a dynamite stage for him to showcase himself and lift up a Butler team that will need a good jump start.

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