May 25, 2013, 10:20 PM EDT
We know the road to the 2014 national championship will end in Dallas (Arlington, whatevs) next season. Now we also know that the title chase will begin there as well.
ESPN’s Jason King is reporting that eight teams will meet at American Airlines Center on November 8, headlined by a potential Top 25 matchup between Baylor and Colorado.
Each matchup in the four-game season-opening event has local ties. Texas and LSU will meet, as will Southern Methodist and Texas Christian. The Dallas event had to nip slightly north of the state line to get some regional interest in the remaining game, which will pit Anthony Grant’s Alabama Crimson Tide against the Oklahoma Sooners.
The event may struggle to stand out in the football-mad Lone Star State, but it is intended to build enthusiasm for the season, and could be the start of similar efforts in future seasons.
“We want this to serve as the tipoff to the season,” bd Global president Brooks Downing told ESPN.com earlier this month. “The plan is to generate a lot of excitement and hype about college basketball in the city that’s hosting the Final Four.”
If the November event is a success, Downing said bd Global likely will stage something similar each fall in the city slated to host the Final Four. The 2015 Final Four will be in Indianapolis before shifting to Houston in 2016.
Baylor is coming off of an NIT title and will no doubt hope to start an NCAA title run in their home state.
Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.
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