The bracket for the Charleston Classic, Virginia's early-season tournament, has been released. UVA will kick off the tourney against Bradley on Thursday, November 19th (the week before Thanksgiving) - time and TV are TBA, but it will be an evening game, as the other side of the bracket plays in the afternoon.
With a win, UVA will play the winner of Long Beach State vs. Seton Hall on the 20th. (If the Hoos fall to Bradley, they'll play the loser of that game). Virginia will play a third game on the 22nd; the championship is at 9:30 PM on ESPN2, but all teams are guaranteed three games. Oklahoma State, Towson, Ole Miss, and George Mason make up the other half of the field.
Here's the full bracket:
2015 Gildan Charleston Classic bracket is up! We're counting down the 104 days til tip-off. pic.twitter.com/3cPcl3itdS— Charleston Classic (@ESPNCharleston) August 6, 2015
The Bradley Braves are coming off a 9-24 season in which they went 3-15 in the MVC and ranked 270th in the nation on KenPom, including 336th on offense. In the offseason, they fired head coach Geno Ford, leading to seven players requesting releases to transfer to other schools, six on the same day. This game will not be a strength of schedule boon for the Hoos.
However, their subsequent game against either Seton Hall (107 on KenPom last season) or Long Beach St. (#142, though with heavy losses because graduation) won't be as painful, and they have a shot at a good win in the championship against a team like Oklahoma State.
While the Charleston Classic field isn't especially exciting, the Hoos have plenty of other strong OOC opportunities - the Hoos have dates scheduled at GW, at Ohio State, vs. WVU at MSG, and at home against Villanova and Cal. (Tony Bennett discusses his excitement for the schedule in this WaPo piece.) Participation in early-season tournaments is assigned by the ACC on a rotating basis. The good news is that UVA will be the clear favorite of the Charleston Classic field and has a good chance on winning its second consecutive early-season tournament after taking the Barclay Classic last year.
Virginia is actually 0-2 against Bradley all-time; the teams met most recently in the 2008 CBI, when the Hoos fell 96-85 in Sean Singletary's last game.