Sanford Pentagon set to host major college basketball tournament

Sports

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Battle 4 Atlantis men’s basketball tournament was canceled in late September, but seven of the eight teams scheduled to participate will now play in the inaugural Crossover Classic this November at the Sanford Pentagon.

The Sanford Pentagon is no stranger to big-time college basketball, but the Crossover Classic is unlike anything the venue has ever hosted.

“We don’t have sandy beaches in South Dakota, we don’t have 80 degree weather in November, but we are very confident that we can deliver an unparalleled basketball experience,” Sanford Sports Complex vice president of operations Jesse Smith said.

The Crossover Classic will feature eight teams with a combined 20 appearances in the Final Four.

“We’ve been to Final Fours, we’ve talked to these coaches, in fact, I had Bob Huggins tell me one time I will never come to South Dakota. I think they’re on that list (laughs), so (laughs),” Smith said.

West Virginia is in, but Duke is out. The Blue Devils are the only team scheduled to play in the Battle 4 Atlantis that’s not making the trip to Sioux Falls.

“We didn’t have any conversations with Duke. They made their own decision, and they made that independently of speaking with us or with our tournament director,” Smith said.

The teams that are participating will find themselves in a bubble because of COVID-19.

“The plan is to drive them straight from whatever vehicle they came in on to the testing area. From that point, they’ll be brought back to their rooms and they will stay in their rooms, nobody touches the floor until their test is negative,” Sanford Health senior vice president of clinic quality Jeremy Cauwels, M.D. said.

“The actual environment inside of the court will be more of a bubble environment where fans will not be able to access the floor. Whoever is on the floor is going to be inside of that, it’s going to look a lot like the bubble in Orlando with the plexiglass and bench spacing,” Smith said.

If all goes according to plan, this will be the first of many Crossover Classics.

“We understand that you’ve got to build into one of these fields of this type of caliber, and so we’ll work towards that and we’ll continue pounding away to make sure this keeps moving forward,” Smith said.

The Crossover Classic runs November 25th through the 27th. A limited number of tickets will be available to the public.

SCHEDULE
Nov. 25 (All times CST)
1 p.m. West Virginia vs. Texas A&M
3:30 p.m. Ohio State vs. Memphis
6 p.m. Creighton vs. Utah
8:30 p.m. Dayton vs. Wichita State

Nov. 26
11 a.m. Semifinal No. 1
1:30 p.m. Semifinal No. 2
5:30 p.m. Consolation semifinal No. 1
8 p.m. Consolation semifinal No. 2

Nov. 27
TBD

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