The Can't-Miss College Hoops Tournaments of Thanksgiving Week

By Geoff Magliocchetti
AdvoCare Invitational
AdvoCare Invitational / Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

College basketball doesn't care if you want seconds, thirds, fourths,'re getting a surplus whether you like it or not.

'Tis the season for tournaments, as several editions get underway this week as Thanksgiving approaches. With so much hoops going around, we're letting you pace yourself both at the dinner table and at the TV screen by documenting the tournaments you can's miss under any circumstance.

Empire Classic (11/21-22)
Teams: Georgetown, Texas, Duke, California
Site: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

The Duke factor already makes this must-see TV, but Thursday's first matchup (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN) will be intriguing for entirely different reasons. Patrick Ewing and Shaka Smart are each high-profile coaches looking to get their high-profile programs back in the spotlight. A win at Madison Square Garden would do wonders toward achieving that goal.

Myrtle Beach Invitational (11/21-24)
Teams: Villanova, Middle Tennessee, Mississippi State, Tulane, Baylor, Ohio, Utah, Coastal Carolina
Site: HTC Arena, Conway, SC

For the second straight season, Villanova is reeling after getting shellacked by an elite Big Ten opponent, getting crushed by Ohio State last week. Last year, the Wildcats recovered from a Michigan beating to win the AdvoCare Invitational in Orlando. To repeat the process, they'll have to get through a dangerous field that includes ranked Baylor squad trying to work off a loss to Washington in Alaska.

Island of the Bahamas Showcase (11/22-24)
Liberty, Morgan State, Rice, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, UMKC, George Washington, Evansville, East Carolina
: Kendal Isaacs National Gymnasium, Nassau, Bahamas

Did you miss a chance to see the Aces, they of the biggest college hoops upset this year over top-ranked Kentucky? They'll return to action on Friday night against the Buccaneers of ECU. Fellow upset darlings UMBC will also head to the Caribbean, taking on Eastern Michigan and Nicholls in the Jamaica Classic in Montego Bay.

Hall of Fame Air Force Reserve Tip-Off (11/23-24)
Teams: Virginia, Massachusetts, Arizona State, St. John's, Rider, Columbia, Vermont, Central Connecticut State
Site: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT

The defending national champ Cavaliers from Charlottesville have gotten off to a 4-0 starts, begun with an ugly 48-34 win over Syracuse. Should they get past the Minutemen, they'll take on a desperate squad in the other portion of their bracket. Arizona State is looking for answers after blowing a lead in Shanghai against Colorado, while St. John's will be glad to avoid the mid-major portions at Mohegan, as they're coming off an inexcusable home loss to the Catamounts.

Maui Invitational (11/25-27)
Teams: Georgia, Dayton, Virginia Tech, Michigan State, Kansas, Chaminade, BYU, UCLA
Site: Lahaina Civic Center, Maui, HI

What was already a sexy roster with the Spartans and Jayhawks (not to mention the return of Division II tournament mainstay Chaminade) was made even more intriguing with UCLA's hot start under Mick Cronin. The former set of teams are each trying to work off some early losses in New York, where Kansas fell to Duke and MSU suffered an early defeat to Kentucky.

Battle 4 Atlantis (11/27-29)
Teams: Michigan, Iowa State, North Carolina, Alabama, Gonzaga, Southern Mississippi, Seton Hall, Oregon
Site: Atlantis Bahamas, Paradise Island, Bahamas

Stay up late on Turkey Day eve, as the ranked matchup between the Pirates and the Ducks is most intriguing. Oregon has come out flying, led by the efforts of senior guard Payton Pritchard. SHU, meanwhile, avoided disaster in an injury situation featuring Myles Powell and wound up giving Michigan State a major run for their money during the Gavitt Games.