Three of college basketball's major tip-off tournaments march on this week. Let's take a look at the schedule for those tournaments and the teams that headline them:
Monday, Nov. 18
St. Francis vs. (9) Syracuse; 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN 3
The 'Cuse have handled Cornell, Fordham and Colgate with relative ease in its first three games. Senior forward C.J. Fair is leading the way early with nearly 22 points and five rebounds per contest. St. Francis defeated the Miami Hurricanes in its first game of the year, so maybe the Terriers can provide a challenge to Jim Boeheim's machine, but that seems like a daunting task especially considering it's in the Carrier Dome.
NIT Season Tip-Off
Monday, Nov. 18
UNC Asheville vs. (4) Duke; 7 p.m., WatchESPN
Duke lost to Kansas in its second game of the season, but the Blue Devils bounced back with a 97-64 trouncing of Florida Atlantic. Jabari Parker, one of the nation's top freshmen, is scoring over 23 points per game and Rodney Hood is contributing 20 of his own. Poor, poor UNC Asheville.
Fairleigh Dickinson vs. (6) Arizona; 11 p.m., WatchESPN
The Wildcats utilize a balanced scoring attack of Nick Johnson (16 ppg), Aaron Gordon (14.3), Brandon Ashley (11), Gabe York (10), Kaleb Tarczewski (8.7) and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (8). Gordon, in particular, is the player to watch here. The long, athletic freshman uses every game as a chance to crush someone's skull against the backboard. For that, Arizona is a must watch.
Hall of Fame Tip Off Tournament
Tuesday, Nov. 19
Hartford vs. (3) Louisville; 7 p.m., ESPN3
Louisville's Russ Smith has been everything college basketball fans could wish for in the Cardinals' first three games. Without Peyton Siva, he's been asked to take more point guard responsibilities and he's responded with a career best five assists, almost double what he averaged last year. And he's averaging a career high in points per game (20.3). AND he's shooting a career high in field goal percentage, 46.8. Good luck, Hartford.
Puerto Rico Tip Off at San Juan
Thursday, Nov. 21
Long Beach State vs. (7) Michigan; 5 p.m., ESPN2/WatchESPN
One name you probably don't remember from Michigan's championship contending team last year that you should probably remember? Caris LeVert. LeVert appeared in 33 games last year but logged only 11 minutes a game. This year, through two games, he's averaging nearly 21 points after knocking down 6-of-7 triples against South Carolina State.
Florida State vs. (14) VCU; 7:30 p.m., ESPNU/WatchESPN
The best of the early tournament matchups is a battle of undefeated teams that each rely on defense. VCU's hectic defensive style has resulted in three early wins with junior guard Treveon Graham leading the Rams with 16 points and six rebounds per game. The Seminoles will rely on balance, with six players averaging double digits through FSU's first two games.