With Thanksgiving around the corner, there’s a lot to be thankful for in November. Since 2014, college basketball has added to the holiday feast with the annual Emerald Coast Classic, an eight-team tournament featuring some notable names in Division 1.

With the final two rounds hosted in Niceville, Florida, the tournament name originates from the dazzling green hue of Florida’s Emerald Coast. The games will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network. Does anyone want some hoops with your pumpkin pie?

2022 Emerald Coast Classic Basketball Participants

California Golden Bears

Finishing with a head-shaking 12-20 record last year, the California Golden Bears (0-3) are already off to a shaky start this season. The Golden Bears were projected to rank 11th in the Pac-12 preseason poll, just barely ahead of the Oregon State Beavers, who wrapped up 2021-22 with a dismal 3-28 record.

In California’s defense, it tipped off the year without its top three shooters. Andre Kelly, who averaged 13.4 points per game, has moved to UC Santa Barbara via the transfer portal. Grant Anticevich (9.7) and Jordan Shepherd and his team-leading 14.6 points per game tossed their caps at graduation. Buckle up, it’ll be another bumpy ride for the Golden Bears this year.

Southern Jaguars

If you remember, the Southern Jaguars were leading the Southwestern Athletic with a solid 10-3 conference record with a little less than three weeks remaining in the season. Then, suddenly, they choked and finished the last six games on their schedule with a 3-3 split. Southern was pushed down to third and then handed a first-round exit by the Grambling State Tigers. Currently carrying a winless record (0-3), the Jags should be playing with a vengeance.

Clemson Tigers

Coming out of the ACC, the Clemson Tigers are stuck in a stiff conference and their past campaign’s 17-16 overall record won’t cut it. Like others, Clemson needs to fill holes in its roster, with Al-Amir Dawes (11.3 PPG) transferring to the Seton Hall Pirates and David Collins (10 PPG) graduating last year. Look for junior P.J. Hall to take on some extra responsibility after surging in his second year by averaging 15.5 points per game.

Loyola (MD) Greyhounds

After finishing last season with an 8-10 conference record in the Patriot League, the Loyola Greyhounds return to the court with veteran leadership. Jaylin Andrews, who averaged 13.7 points per game last season, and Kenneth Jones (8.9 PPG) came back as graduate students.

Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks

Out of the Summit League are the Omaha Mavericks and first-year head coach Chris Crutchfield, who left his position as an assistant coach with the Oregon Ducks. The Mavericks last saw the Emerald Coast Classic in 2017, when they didn’t move past the first round after falling to the New Mexico Lobos 103-71.

Iowa Hawkeyes

The Iowa Hawkeyes won last season’s Big Ten Conference championship. Iowa has been ranked in the final AP Poll for three consecutive years. Keegan Murray, who led the 2021-22 team with 23.5 points per game, is now in the NBA. But twin brother Kris Murray is still in Iowa and netted a career-high 29 points in his third game this year. It’ll be a promising year for him and the Hawkeyes.

Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks

The Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks wasted no time replacing the talent that went out the door by adding five new players. Louisiana-Monroe snagged Savion Gallion from South Plains College, when he averaged 9.9 points and 2.8 rebounds as the team’s second-leading scorer. North Alabama Lions’ Jamari Blackmon became a Warhawk too. The senior averaged 9.8 points and shot 87 percent from the free-throw line.

TCU Horned Frogs

The only team with all five starters returning, the TCU Horned Frogs finished with a solid 21-13 record last year. It was the fourth time in his six years on the sideline that head coach Jamie Dixon led the team to at least 20 wins. The second half of last season made the next look promising, as the Frogs compiled five wins over Top 25 teams. Keep an eye on junior Mike Miles Jr., who averaged a team-best 15.4 points and 3.8 assists per game.

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Emerald Coast Classic 2022 Schedule

The first round of the annual classic will be held at on-campus locations. Then, two final rounds of the tournament, scheduled for November 25 and 26, will be hosted at Raider Arena on Northwest Florida State’s campus.

The tournament opened Thursday with the Horned Frogs downing Louisiana-Monroe 95-60 at TCU. Southern visits California on Friday, and the first round wraps up Monday with two contests: Omaha at Iowa and Loyola (MD) at Clemson.

In second-round games on Friday, November 25, Southern plays Loyola, Louisiana-Monroe meets Nebraska-Omaha, Iowa squares off against Clemson and Cal plays TCU.

The championship-round games go Saturday, November 26, culminating with the final championship game at 7 p.m.

Emerald Coast Classic Previous Winners

Emerald Coast Classic Last 7 Championships
YearWinnerScoreRunner-Up
2021LSU75-61Wake Forest
2019Florida State63-60Purdue
2018Cincinnati71-57Ole Miss
2017TCU89-79St. Bonaventure
2016Virginia 63-52Providence
2015Iowa State84-73Illinois
2014Ole Miss66-54Cincinnati

*There was no tournament held in 2020 due to COVID-19.

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Emerald Coast Classic FAQs

What Was The Highest-Scoring Championship Game In The Emerald Coast Classic?

The highest-scoring game in the history of the annual classic so far came in 2017. The TCU Horned Frogs won the tournament after an 89-79 win over the St. Bonaventure Bonnies. TCU covered as 8.5-point favorites with the total set at 142.5 and hitting the OVER.

Where Is The Emerald Coast Classic Played?

The first and second rounds of the annual classic will be held at on-campus locations. Then, two-final round games of the tournament are held at Raider Arena on Northwest Florida State’s campus.

Why Is It Called The Emerald Coast Classic?

With the final two rounds hosted in Niceville, Florida, the tournament name originates from the dazzling, green hue of Florida’s Emerald Coast.