SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Creighton men’s basketball team is part of an elite field of men’s college basketball programs that will compete in the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic at the Sanford Pentagon, November 25-27. Creighton will open its 2020-21 season in primetime on ESPN2 at 6 pm Central against Utah in the first match-up between the teams since 1941.
The Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic is a new event whose eight men’s programs have a combined 70 appearances in the Sweet Sixteen and 20 trips to the Final Four. The field of men’s teams includes Creighton, Dayton, Memphis, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Utah, West Virginia and Wichita State. All 12 games will air live on the ESPN family of networks.
“Since opening in 2013, the Sanford Pentagon has earned the reputation of being a premier place to host Division I basketball games,” said Jesse Smith, vice president of operations for the Sanford Sports Complex. “We are privileged to welcome these eight teams to Sioux Falls and will provide them a safe and memorable experience to start their season.”
Tickets will go on sale November 1, with a limited amount available for each game. Masks are required for all spectators and will be available for free at the door.
Bad Boy Mowers, based in Batesville, Arkansas, and nationally known for its zero-turn mowers, is the title sponsor of the tournament. The company has a long history of supporting major college basketball events and post-season college football games.
“This is going to be an epic three days of basketball, and we are excited to help bring some of the most prominent teams in college basketball to Sioux Falls,” said Lennie Foree, marketing director of Bad Boy Mowers. “It’s become a Thanksgiving tradition to kick the college basketball season off with a bang, and we’re so proud to be able to give fans a taste of hoops during the holiday week.”
“Complete Sports Management is proud to partner with Sanford Health to put on the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic,” said Lea Miller-Tooley, tournament director. “This partnership puts the health and wellness of the student-athlete at the forefront of this event, and we’re excited to be part of the highly anticipated relaunch of college basketball.”
Jeremy Cauwels, M.D., who is the senior vice president of quality at Sanford Health, is also a member of the NCAA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group. The committee is responsible for providing guidance to NCAA schools regarding training, practice and competition.
“We aim to provide the blueprint for safely returning to competition for college sports as we navigate COVID-19’s presence in our lives,” said Cauwels. “We want student-athletes to be able to play the sports they love, but we want them and everyone else around them to be in a safe environment.”
All members of each team’s traveling party will be tested regularly for COVID-19 once they arrive in Sioux Falls. All traveling members will remain in a controlled environment during their entire stay.
Sanford Health and the Sanford Pentagon will work closely with the schools and individual states and be ready to adjust based on guidelines and safety measures for all involved.
Creighton finished the 2019-20 campaign with a 24-7 record, winning a share of its first BIG EAST title. The Bluejays were ranked seventh in the year-end Associated Press poll and return five of their top six scorers from a season ago. Utah was 16-15 last season and returns three of its top four scorers.
Creighton won the only previous meeting against Utah, 36-32, on Dec. 29, 1941 in Omaha.
Nov. 25 (All times CST)
1 p.m. West Virginia vs. Texas A&M (ESPN)
3:30 p.m. Ohio State vs. Memphis (ESPN2)
6 p.m. Creighton vs. Utah (ESPN2)
8:30 p.m. Dayton vs. Wichita State (ESPN2)
11 a.m. Semifinal No. 1 (ESPN)
1:30 p.m. Semifinal No. 2 (ESPN)
5:30 p.m. Consolation semifinal No. 1 (ESPN2)
8 p.m. Consolation semifinal No. 2 (ESPN2)
|Opponent||2019-20 W-L||Head Coach||Series History||Last Meeting vs. CU|
|Dayton||29-2||Anthony Grant||Dayton leads, 7-4||Dayton 90, Creighton 80 (11/14/2009)|
|Memphis||21-10||Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway||Creighton leads, 4-3||Creighton 79, Memphis 67 (3/22/2019)|
|Ohio State||21-10||Chris Holtmann||Ohio State leads, 6-3||Ohio State 69, Creighton 60 (11/15/2018)|
|Texas A&M||16-14||Buzz Williams||Creighton leads, 1-0||Creighton 100, Texas A&M 77 (12/23/1971)|
|Utah||16-15||Larry Krystkowiak||Creighton leads, 1-0||Creighton 36, Utah 32 (12/29/1941)|
|West Virginia||21-10||Bob Huggins||Series tied, 1-1||West Virginia 63, Creighton 61 (3/17/2005)|
|Wichita State||23-8||Gregg Marshall||Creighton leads, 55-45||Creighton 68, Wichita State 65 (3/10/2013)|