On Saturday night, Duke University defeated Louisville University to win the second annual Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament. This new November tournament is becoming a premiere destination for top college basketball programs to compete early into the season.
The 2012 Battle 4 Atlantis field featured the following eight teams:
The four ranked teams made the tournament a great television showcase for NBC Sports, the official broadcaster of the tournament. Key wins by VCU and Minnesota also boosted these early sleeper team’s status. A final showcasing two top five ranked teams proved this was the best preseason tournament of the early 2012-2013 NCAA season.
Last season, three of the eight teams from the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament made the final March Madness bracket. Tournament winner Harvard beat UCF 59-49 and found themselves in the NCAA Tournament at the end of the season. UNC Asheville and Connecticut were the other 2011 Battle 4 Atlantis participants that made the field in March. In 2011, the initial Battle 4 Atlantis tournament featured two ranked teams in Connecticut (#4) and Florida State (#22), compared to this year’s four.
Recently, the 2013 participants were announced:
The 2014 Battle 4 Atlantis will feature North Carolina. A mainland tournament took place this year with four small schools competing for a chance to be in the 2016 Battle 4 Atlantis. Florida Gulf Coast beat Toledo to earn a spot in the future tournament.
The Battle 4 Atlantis is held at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, located in Nassau, Bahamas. Teams that attend and compete are awarded $2 million, making the tournament one of the richest in the country. The tournament competes with old tournaments like the Maui Invitational and NIT Season Tip-Off. The Maui Invitational features eight teams and has showcased great NCAA programs since it began in 1984. Four teams that won the Maui Invitational went on to win the NCAA Championship the same season (Michigan, North Carolina x2, Connecticut). The NIT Season Tip-Off has been played since 1985 and features talented teams as well.
With a great field of teams and a rich $2 million check, I’m guessing Atlantis Resort will have no trouble finding teams to compete or fans to come to the beautiful Bahamas.