Report: Utah State men’s basketball to play in ESPN Events Invitational | Sports

According to reports form college basketball reporter Rocco Miller, Utah State men’s basketball team will be a participant in the ESPN Events Invitational in Orlando this November.

Eight teams are part of the event, although Miller’s report indicates a change in the typical format of the event. They will apparently be split into two brackets with four teams in each. USU’s half will include North Texas, Northern Iowa and St. Bonaventure as potential opponents. The Aggies will not play all three teams due to the bracket format. The winners of the two games will play each other with the losers facing off in the other. In the other bracket, the four teams are Florida, Minnesota, Wake Forest and Wichita State.

The event will reportedly take place in late November. Per Miller, the bracket USU is in would start on Nov. 27 with the other bracket on either Nov. 28 or 29. No report has been made to specify first-round matchups for the two brackets.

This two-bracket structure is new to the ESPN-sponsored multi-team event which has been held annually since 2006 (except for 2020 which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak). Involving eight teams has been the standard but in years past all of those teams would be in the same bracket that facilitated three games being played.

The three teams Utah State could face – North Texas, Northern Iowa and St. Bonaventure – have been consistently decent mid-major programs, especially North Texas and St. Bonaventure who have routinely been top 100 teams in the NET. Below is the year-by-year record for all teams in this bracket since 2021 (final NET rank in parenthesis).

Year North Texas Northern Iowa St. Bonaventure Utah State
2023-24 19-15 (79) 19-14 (109) 20-13 (87) 28-7 (38)
2022-23 31-7 (38) 14-18 (216) 14-18 (199) 26-9 (18)
2021-22 25-7 (55) 20-12 (98) 23-10 (75) 18-16 (65)
2020-21 18-10 (55) 10-15 (187) 16-5 (31) 20-9 (47)

Utah State is the only team of the four to make the NCAA Tournament in the last three seasons. North Texas and St. Bonaventure both made their most recent appearances in the Big Dance in 2021 with Northern Iowa having not gone since 2016.

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