Rigsby, Ducks hope to start a successful campaign in Niceville

Northwest Florida State College will host the 2023 Emerald Coast Classic basketball tournament, presented by Global Sports, during the Thanksgiving weekend on November 24-25. The tournament will feature some of the top college basketball teams in the country, including the University of Alabama, Ohio State University, the University of Oregon, and Santa Clara University.

Alabama is coming off a spectacular season where they were ranked No.1 in the final Associated Press basketball poll and were the top overall seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament, making it to their ninth Sweet 16 Tournament appearance in school history. Ohio State will be looking to bounce back after finishing with a 16-19 record in the 2022-23 season, while Oregon will be aiming to make a deep run after advancing to the quarterfinal round of the 2023 NIT. Santa Clara also had a successful season in 2022-23, posting a 23-10 record and making it to the NIT.

The tournament will serve as a homecoming for Oregon Guard Brennan Rigsby, who played for the Northwest Florida Raiders in 2021. The De Beque, Colorado standout averaged almost 12 points per game for NWFSC. The Ducks ended last season in the quarterfinals of the NIT with a three-point loss to the Wisconsin Badgers. 

“We’re excited about the rich tradition of this year’s tournament field,” said tournament director Maury Hanks, chief executive officer of Global Sports. “We continue to strive to bring the best college basketball teams possible to the Emerald Coast of Florida.”

The tournament has a history of producing exciting matchups between top-tier teams. In the past, TCU, LSU, and Florida State have all claimed the championship title. The Emerald Coast Classic has been held since 2014, and Global Sports has produced 52 multi-team college basketball tournaments since 2007.

Tickets for the tournament will go on sale later this summer. For more information, visit the tournament website. The 2023 Emerald Coast Classic is shaping up to be a must-see event for college basketball fans.

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