The Basketball Classic

The Basketball Classic

The Basketball Classic, formerly known as the Tournament, is a postseason Division I college basketball tournament. The tournament consists of 32 men’s college basketball teams that did not make the NCAA or NIT tournaments.

The other postseason college basketball tournaments are the NCAA Tournament, NIT, and CBI. The Basketball Classic is generally considered to be the third-best out of these, behind the NCAA Tournament and NIT.

The Basketball Classic is not highly regarded, as every team’s goal is to make the NCAA Tournament. However, it does provide an alternative postseason experience for programs that didn’t make the NCAA Tournament or National Invitation Tournament (NIT).

Tournament Format

The Basketball Classic is a single-elimination bracketed tournament. It is not a fixed-bracket tournament like the NCAA Tournament. Instead, teams are re-seeded after each round, ensuring that the highest- and lowest-seeded remaining teams will be matched up. Unlike other tournaments that are hosted on a neutral court, games for The Basketball Classic are held on the campuses of participating schools.


The Basketball Classic runs from mid-March through early April and is usually overshadowed by the NCAA Tournament. It is designed to garner attention from the fanbases of participating teams and provide an alternative to the NCAA Tournament. Games will be aired on ESPN+ for the duration of the tournament.

How Teams are Chosen

Teams get invited to The Basketball Classic by the Selection Committee, which is made up of Division I athletic directors and conference representatives. The teams are chosen based on season win percentage, strength of schedule, strength of conference, and recent performance. Most remaining teams from major Power Five Conferences are not eligible to play in the Basketball Classic tournament.


The Basketball Classic was founded in 2022 as a replacement for the Postseason Tournament (CIT), which was discontinued after the 2019 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CIT had previously been running since 2009, with the number of participating teams fluctuating each year between 20-32 teams. Following the postponement of the CIT in 2020 and 2021, rebranded the tournament in collaboration with Eracism to form the Basketball Classic.


You can find The Basketball Classic’s upcoming tournament schedule and results on their official website below: