Titans Open With Marquette in Wooden Legacy Opener
FULLERTON, Calif. -- Coming off of an eighth-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and a run to the "Elite Eight" in 2012-13, Marquette will be the first opponent for the Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team on Thanksgiving Day at Titan Gym as the brackets were announced for the inaugural 2013 Wooden Legacy Tournament.
The Golden Eagles, led by sixth-year head coach Buzz Williams, return nine players and two starters off of last season's squad that finished 26-9 overall (the third-most wins in school history), claimed a share of the Big East regular season title, and advanced to the "Elite Eight" in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003 and the seventh time overall in school history.
"This is a great opportunity for our ball club to host a storied program such as Marquette University," Cal State Fullerton head coach Dedrique Taylor said. "Coach Williams is a friend and mentor and I carry a great deal of respect for him and what he stands for as well as how he coaches the game.
"I am looking forward to our teams meeting on national television as well as having the opportunity to see the rest of the field which will yield some great match ups during the Thanksgiving holiday. Buckle up and welcome to 'Titan City.'"
The two will square off at 1:30 p.m. at Titan Gym in an ESPN2 televised contest. Miami and George Washington will be the first pairing of the day at 11 a.m. on ESPNU followed by the College of Charleston vs. San Diego State and Creighton vs. Arizona State to close out the day at 5:30 and 8 p.m., respectively.
In all, 10 of the 12 games will be televised on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU with ESPN3 carrying the additional two games.
Thursday (Nov. 28) and Friday's (Nov. 29) games will be held at Titan Gym on campus before moving to the Honda Center on Sunday (Dec. 1) with four placement games, including the championship game between the remaining unbeaten schools at 6:30 p.m. live on ESPN2.
Six of the eight teams in this year's field advanced to some sort of postseason play a season ago, including NCAA Tournament teams Creighton (3rd Round), Marquette ("Elite Eight"), Miami ("Sweet 16"), and San Diego State (3rd Round). In addition, Arizona State advanced to the second round of the NIT before falling to eventual champion Baylor, while the College of Charleston gained a berth to the College Basketball Invitational.
The Wooden Legacy was formed as two vibrant, nationally-recognized in-season collegiate basketball events join forces. The former John R. Wooden Classic will combine with the Anaheim Classic, the eight-team, three-day, 12-game bracketed event that has been staged the past six years in Anaheim.
While the Anaheim Classic started in 2007, the John R. Wooden Classic was established in 1994 as an annual tribute to the legendary coach (who passed away in 2010 at the age of 99) and the excellence he personified. The first 17 John R. Wooden Classics featured a doubleheader. The 2011 and 2012 classics had Wooden's UCLA team hosting a league and in-state rival in a one-game event.
The inaugural Anaheim Classic was played in 2007, with USC capturing the title. In year's following, Wake Forest (2008), West Virginia (2009), UNLV (2010), Saint Louis (2011) and Cal (2012) were also Anaheim Classic winners.
2013 WOODEN LEGACY SCHEDULE*
Thursday, Nov. 28 (Fullerton, Calif. - Titan Gym)
Game 1 - Miami vs. George Washington, 11 a.m. (ESPNU)
Game 2 - Marquette vs. Cal State Fullerton, 1:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Game 3 - College of Charleston vs. San Diego State, 5:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Game 4 - Creighton vs. Arizona State, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Friday, Nov. 29 (Fullerton, Calif. - Titan Gym)
Game 5 - Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN or ESPN2)
Game 6 - Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser, 3 p.m. (ESPN3)
Game 7 - Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Game 8 - Game 3 Loser vs. Game 4 Loser, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
Sunday, Dec. 1 (Anaheim, Calif. - Honda Center)
Game 9 - 7th Place Game (Game 6 Loser vs. Game 8 Loser), 11 a.m. (ESPN3)
Game 10 - 5th Place Game (Game 6 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner), 1:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Game 11 - 3rd Place Game (Game 5 Loser vs. Game 7 Loser), 4 p.m. (ESPNU)
Game 12 - Championship Game (Game 5 Winner vs. Game 7 Winner), 6:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
* all times Pacific... tip-off times and networks subject to change