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Basketball Hall of Fame Announces Key Teams and Dates for 2010 Tip-Off Tournament

Tip-Off returns to Springfield November 20 and 21

SPRINGFIELD, MASS.The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the return of a 27-year Springfield tradition.  The Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament will take place at the MassMutual Center on Saturday November 20 and Sunday November 21.  Eight schools will participate in two brackets of four teams over two days in an NCAA exempt tournament.

In addition to the two brackets that will play in Springfield, each of the participating schools will play against each other in two additional games to be hosted on campus by Bradley University, New Mexico State University, University of Massachusetts, and University of Southern California

In games scheduled for Saturday November 20th at the MassMutual Center in Springfield – Bradley University will match up with the University of Southern California and New Mexico State University will play the University of Massachusetts.  The winners and losers of the Saturday games will play on Sunday in the consolation and championship games.

“The Hall of Fame has a proud tradition of hosting premiere college basketball events and the return of the Hall’s college basketball property to the city of Springfield should create an exciting atmosphere for each institution and the fans” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame.  “We look forward to welcoming each of these schools to the Basketball Hall of Fame and creating a weekend celebration in Springfield for many years to come.”   

The Basketball Hall of Fame, in conjunction with the awarding of the conference tournament, has extended the partnership with the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference to serve as the event’s sponsoring conference, serve in various operational roles and to provide an annual participant in the field of teams.  Rider University will serve as the conferences participant.  The Basketball Hall of Fame along with the MassMutual Center will serve as hosts for the Men’s and Women’s MAAC Championships from 2012 – 2014.

"The MAAC membership in looking to grow its relationship with the Basketball Hall of Fame, the MassMutual Center and the City of Springfield was eager to extend its expertise and provide staffing for The Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament as the event's sponsor," notes Richard J. Ensor, MAAC Commissioner.  "The MAAC prides itself on its record of hosting league and NCAA Championships, and exempt events in venues throughout the country and looks forward to great college hoops next November in the city that prides itself as the birthplace of basketball."

The complete schedule of campus site games will be announced at a later date as well as the remaining four schools, television information and ticket information.

2010 Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament Hosts

Bradley University – Representing the Missouri Valley Conference, the Bradley University Braves will enter the 2010-11 season coming off a 16-15 campaign that included victories over nationally-ranked squads from the University of Illinois and University of Northern Iowa.  The Braves will return the top-scoring trio in The Valley – senior guards Sam Maniscalco and Andrew Warren, as well as junior forward Taylor Brown – in addition to several other key pieces that will make them a contender in the highly-competitive Missouri Valley Conference.  Sophomore guard Jake Eastman is the son of Boston Celtics assistant coach Kevin Eastman.

New Mexico State University – The defending Western Athletic Conference (WAC) tournament champions are coming off a 22-12 season and NCAA tournament appearance that saw them nearly upset Final Four participant Michigan State.  The Aggies entered the NCAA tournament as the #12 seed in the Midwest after defeating Nevada, Utah State and San Jose State in the conference tournament.  Returning for the Aggies will be three of their top five in Troy Gillenwater, Wendell McKines and Hamidu Rahman.

University of Massachusetts – Led by Springfield native Derek Kellogg, the Minutemen welcome back the majority of its team in Kellogg’s third season.  Terrell Vinson and Anthony Gurley are the top returning scorers and they will be joined by a strong recruiting class and group of returning players which should help UMass be a player in the strong Atlantic 10 Conference.   

University of Southern California – The Trojans from the Pac-10 Conference are looking to build off a 16-14 season that saw victories against NCAA tournament teams Tennessee, St. Mary’s, UNLV, Washington and California.  Led by Kevin O’Neill, USC will return 13 players from its roster and adds a strong recruiting class to a team that sat atop the Pac-10 Conference standings during the regular season.

About the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

The MAAC, headquartered in Edison, N.J., consists of 10 member institutions: Canisius College, Fairfield University, Iona College, Loyola University Maryland, Manhattan College, Marist College, Niagara University, Rider University, Saint Peter's College and Siena College. For more on the conference, please visit www.maacsports.com