The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team puts its unbeaten record on the line against the Kansas Jayhawks this Saturday. Facing the team we once vanquished in the NCAA title game is usually eventful enough. But this matchup also comes with an additional designation as one of the showcase games of the Hoophall Miami Invitational.
You’ve probably heard this phrase once or twice in the early goings of this season. Technically, our games against Texas Southern, Oakland and Toledo were all part of the event. And the “Miami” part of “Hoophall Miami Invitational” is why we’re playing Kansas in Miami.
But what’s this thing all about? And why’s it in Miami? A quick FAQ for you on an event we didn’t know anything about until this Syracuse-Kansas game was announced (without a football scheduling tie-in for some reason...):
How does the event describe itself?
The Hoophall Miami Invitational is a premiere college basketball double-header that takes place annually at American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL. In addition to the basketball games, the Hall of Fame and American Airlines Arena partner to bring the event to the local south Florida community with a business luncheon at American Airlines Arena, local high school games at the arena, and a youth skills clinic ran by one of the participating teams at the Overtown Youth Center.
Okay, so all of that sounds nice enough, and it’s great to give back to some local youth groups and high schools. But why is it in Miami? Let’s press on...
Who played in that one?
Kentucky, Memphis, Ohio State and USF. Three out of four ain’t bad.
And what about last year’s?
DePaul, Georgetown, LaSalle and Temple. Weird that they didn’t bother inviting any teams last year...
Oh, those are just the high school games. The December 3 matchups featured Illinois, Miami, Wofford and VCU.
Who else is playing in this year’s?
Along with the teams we’ve already defeated in the on-campus portion of things, Miami and Princeton will be playing in the later tip-off on Saturday night.
Who organizes this thing?
American Airlines Arena, plus the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, which is in Springfield, Mass. The original press release mentions that it’s fitting that Miami and the Hall of Fame work together since the Miami Heat (tenants of American Airlines Arena) are run by three Hall of Famers: Pat Riley, Alonzo Mourning and Bob McAdoo.
That’s what the Naismith Hall of Fame calls itself.
Yeah, “Hoops Hall” sounds better, right?
So why’s the event in Miami?
Still have no idea.