Three of the top teams in NCAA Division I basketball are preparing to make the trek to the inaugural Greater Victoria Invitational presented by the City of Langford to be played at CARSA Gymnasium next week, Nov. 28-30, on the campus of the University of Victoria.
All three are unbeaten as Stanford, 4-0, leads the trio, with a No. 3-ranking behind No. 1 Oregon and No.2 Baylor. The Cardinal just defeated No. 23 Gonzaga last week. Mississippi State, which played in the last two NCAA Final Fours, is off to a 3-0 start and ranks #10 in the nation. The explosive Lady Bulldogs have averaged 123 points per game in their last two wins over Murray State and Troy. Syracuse, also off on the right before making the trek from New York to British Columbia.
“It’s impressive to have a community like Greater Victoria embrace a major women’s college basketball tournament like it has done leading up to this event,” said Brooks Downing, the CEO of bdG Sports, the Kentucky-based event organizer. “But they’re about to find out just how good these teams really are.
The 2020 NCAA champion may be in this eight-team field.”
The bracketed tournament tips off on Thursday, Nov. 28 with Green Bay taking on Bowling Green at 11a.m. PT, followed by Miss. State vs. San Francisco at 1:30 p.m. The evening session begins at 5 p.m. with Syracuse vs. Houston and the first-round nightcap features Stanford battling California Baptist at 7:30p.m. The semifinals will start at 5 p.m. on Friday and the championship game will be played at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. All eight teams will play three games in Victoria.
“This tournament has created a buzz in the city that we haven’t seen in quite some time,” said Howard Kelsey, a BC Sports and Canada Basketball Hall of Famer and tournament partner. “With the recent FIBA announcement as well, the Greater Victoria Invitational is in a perfect spot to capitalize on the excitement this city has for basketball.”
Along with the three full days of games, the City of Langford and tournament organizers will play host to a youth clinic that will feature 90 girls from the Langford community and the California Baptist Women’s Basketball team. Clinic participants will have the chance to run drills with the California Baptist team and learn from its coaches.
“We’re thrilled to be partnered with the City of Langford and to provide such an incredible experience for these girls who aspire to be champions in their own right,” said tournament partner, Dave Munro.