Xavier to host Black Coaches Association Classic

Eight-team tournament will be in Cintas Center Nov. 15-17 | July 10, 2003

The Gazelle Group announced that Xavier will host the 2003 Black Coaches Association (BCA) Classic men’s college basketball tournament. The eight-team tournament will be held on Nov. 15-17, 2003, at Cintas Center. This is the first men's basketball tournament that Xavier has hosted in Cintas Center, which opened for the 2000-2001 school year. Xavier has sold out 39 of its 43 regular season men's basketball games held in the arena to date. Xavier has previously hosted regular season tournaments in women's basketball and volleyball. The fourth annual Mike Castrucci Automotive Xavier Invitational for volleyball will be held Sept. 5-6 at Cintas Center. The third annual Provident Bank Xavier Invitational for women's basketball will be held December 6-7 at Cintas Center. “We are very excited to be hosting one of the country’s premier preseason tournaments,” says Xavier Head Coach Thad Matta. “Playing against solid competition from around the country so early in the season will be a great experience for our program.” In addition to Xavier, the event features two other teams—San Diego (NCAA) and Illinois-Chicago (NIT)—which reached the postseason last year. Rounding out the field are intrastate rival Ohio, UC Irvine, Mercer, Oakland and Coppin State. Official match-ups and game times will be announced in the near future. The host Musketeers, which reached the second round of the NCAA tournament, finished last season ranked 12th in the final Associated Press poll, the school’s highest finish ever in the AP rankings. With a 26-6 record in 2002-2003, Xavier secured its school-record seventh consecutive 20-win season and established itself as one of the nation’s elite men’s basketball programs. Five of the eight participating teams finished first or second in their conference last season, including Atlantic 10 West Division champion Xavier, Atlantic Sun co-champion Mercer and West Coast Conference tournament champion San Diego. Six teams won at least 17 games in 2002-2003, with four of those teams reaching the 20-win plateau. Seven of the eight teams also won at least 10 games in their respective conferences. "We are really excited to have this opportunity to work with the eight programs participating in this year's Classic," says Floyd Keith, executive director of the BCA. "We are exceptionally grateful to Xavier University and the city of Cincinnati for hosting this year's tournament. The rich basketball traditions of the school and the city will make the event extremely positive for everyone involved." Since it began in 1994, the BCA Classic has averaged 14,800 college basketball fans per night over its first eight years (no event was held in 2002), including a tournament-record attendance of 32,250 in 1996. Past BCA Classic games have featured teams from the country’s top conferences: the SEC (Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina & Arkansas), the ACC (Maryland, Wake Forest & Clemson), the Big 12 (Kansas), the Big East (UConn, Villanova & Georgetown), the Pac-10 (Cal, Arizona & USC) and the Big Ten (Ohio State, Indiana, Minnesota & Purdue). The Black Coaches Association is a nonprofit organization whose primary purpose is to foster the growth and development of minorities at all levels of sport both nationally and internationally. The BCA is committed to creating a positive, enlightened environment and common ground where issues can be examined closely, debated sincerely and resolved honestly. Throughout the BCA’s 15-year history, the organization has been at the forefront of the effort to enhance the employment opportunities and professional development of the minority professional. The BCA Classic is produced by the Gazelle Group. For more information about the event, please visit www.bcaclassic.com or contact Phil Wendler at 609 921-1300 or pwendler@gazellegroup.com.