April 12, 2012
Rice University will play in the 2012 Anaheim Classic which will take place Nov. 22-25 at the Anaheim (Calif.) Convention Center. The tournament announced its 2012 field on Thursday.
The 2012 Anaheim Classic will feature six teams which competed in postseason play this past season. The field includes NCAA Tournament participants California, St. Mary's and Xavier. Drexel played in the NIT while Rice played tournament-participant Drake in the second round of the CIT. Also playing in the tournament will be Georgia Tech and Pacific.
"We are excited to be playing in one of college basketball's premiere tournaments," said Rice head coach Ben Braun. "The competitive field speaks for itself. This will be an excellent opportunity for our team to compete against high-caliber opponents early in the season.""
First-round pairings for the Anaheim Classic will be announced this summer. The event will begin on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22nd, with games also slated for Nov. 23rd and Nov. 25th.
The 2012 tournament will feature 12 games through three days. Each team will compete in one game per day, advancing through a bracket-tournament format. The two teams that remain undefeated will face off in a championship game on Nov. 25th.
The Anaheim Classic is owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN.
The inaugural event was played in 2007, with USC capturing the title. In years following, Wake Forest (2008), West Virginia (2009), UNLV (2010) and Saint Louis (2011) were all tournament winners.
The 2012 Anaheim Classic will mark the Owls' 74th in-season tournament. Under Rice head coach Ben Braun, who enters his fifth season, the Owls are 9-5 in four in-season tournaments. Last year Rice went 2-2 at the South Padre Island Invitational.
Rice has had good fortune in tournaments played on the Pacific Coast, winning three titles - the 1981 Rainbow Classic (Honolulu, Hi.), the 1992 U.S. West Cellular Air Time Tournament (Seattle, Wash.) and the 2003 BP Top of the World Classic (Fairbanks, Alaska).