SFU to host NCAA men’s & women’s basketball tournament at Langley Events Centre Nov. 3-5

A basketball border battle is coming to Langley Events Centre this November. Simon Fraser University has partnered with Langley Events Centre to host one of the most prestigious
basketball tournaments in NCAA Division II, featuring men’s and women’s teams from throughout North America.

The Conference Commissioner’s Association (CCA) NCAA Division II Canadian Tip-Off Classic will be a 12-team (six women’s and six men’s) tournament November 3 to 5, 2023. Each team will play three games and there will be six games daily, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It is the start of a three-year agreement to host the event at LEC, running through 2025. There are more than 300 Division II basketball programs in the NCAA, with the SFU Red Leafs being the only Canadian member, competing in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC). SFU will welcome squads from six states to Langley and a total of five conferences will be represented.

The women’s tournament will feature SFU, its two GNAC rivals Alaska and Central Washington, Colorado Mesa of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, and Lone Star Conference teams Texas A&M International and Texas-Tyler. Two teams in the field made last year’s NCAA Div. II women’s basketball national tournament. Texas-Tyler reached the Elite Eight, while Central Washington fell in the first round. “Being awarded this tournament allows us to start a week early and bring in top-flight teams to kick off the season, continuing one of our traditions of always creating the toughest schedule we can,” said
Bruce Langford, who has been the Red Leafs’ head coach since 2001. “We play three days in a row versus quality competition, and it will be an eye-opener for our team. Our seven freshmen will be introduced to the top level right away. Texas-Tyler, our opening opponent, made the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament last year and everyone is eligible to return. We also have four players from Langley so we are thrilled to provide them with a homecourt experience in their hometown.”

The SFU women’s team features Jessica Wisotzki (Walnut Grove Secondary), Sophia Wisotzki (Walnut Grove Secondary), Makenna Gardner (Langley Christian) and Myrlaine Shelvey (Langley Christian), from Langley. On the men’s side, the tournament lineup includes SFU, East Coast Conference member Daemen (New York), Hawaii Hilo of the Pacific West Conference, St. Edward’s (Texas) of the Lone Star, and GNAC teams Seattle Pacific and Western Washington.

Hosting the CCA Div. II Canadian Tip-Off Classic is a great way for fans to see the high level of Div. II men’s and women’s basketball competition up close,” said Steve Hanson, who is in his eighth season as the men’s head coach at SFU. “Our program is excited and extremely proud to co-host the event, which will add NCAA basketball to the great events – from the youth level to the professional ranks – played at the LEC for the next three years.”

Tickets will go on sale in the fall.

The Langley Events Centre is British Columbia’s hub for basketball fans, home to the professional basketball Vancouver Bandits of the CEBL as well as hosting provincial championships and many youth events since the facility opened its doors in 2009.
“Basketball fans throughout Metro Vancouver are very passionate about the sport and we are pleased to partner with Simon Fraser University to bring another high-calibre event to Langley Events Centre. We are excited to begin the preparations to host these 12 teams at LEC this November and showcase just how special the sport is in this region to the visiting American squads,” said Gary Ahuja, Manager of Corporate Communications and Media for Langley Events Centre.

The complete CCA Div. II Canadian Tip-Off Classic schedule is listed below.

The tournament website is http://athletics.sfu.ca/tipoffclassic

Tournament Schedule
Friday, November 3, 2023 (all times Pacific)
10:30 a.m. – St. Edwards (M) vs. Seattle Pacific (M) – Centre Court
10:30 a.m. – Simon Fraser (W) vs. Texas-Tyler (W) – South Court
12:45 p.m. – Central Washington (W) vs. Colorado Mesa (W) – South Court
3 p.m. – Texas A&M International (W) vs. Alaska (W) – South Court
5:15 p.m. – Western Washington (M) vs. Daemen (M) – South Court
7:30 p.m. – Simon Fraser (M) vs. Hawaii Hilo (M) – South Court
Saturday, November 4, 2023
10 a.m. – Seattle Pacific (M) vs. Hawaii Hilo (M) – Centre Court
10 a.m. – Alaska (W) vs. Texas-Tyler (W) – South Court
12:15 p.m. – Texas A&M International vs. Central Washington – South Court
2:30 p.m. – Western Washington (M) vs. St. Edward’s (M) – South Court
4:45 p.m. – Colorado Mesa (W) vs. Simon Fraser (W) – South Court
7 p.m. – Daemen (M) vs. Simon Fraser (M) – South Court
Sunday, November 5, 2023
10:30 a.m. – Alaska (W) vs. Colorado Mesa (W) – Centre Court
10:30 a.m. – Hawaii Hilo (M) vs. Western Washington (M) – South Court
12:45 p.m. – Texas-Tyler (W) vs. Central Washington (W) – Centre Court

12:45 p.m. – Seattle Pacific (M) vs. Daemen (M) – South Court
3 p.m. – Simon Fraser (W) vs. Texas A&M International (W) – South Court
5:15 p.m. – Simon Fraser (M) vs. St. Edward’s (M) – South Court