LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Kansas men's basketball will play Rhode Island Thanksgiving Day to open up bracket play of the 2014 Orlando Classic at HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World resort near Orlando, Florida. Tournament officials released the bracket Tuesday.
Playing in its first Orlando Classic, the Kansas-Rhode Island contest will be at 1 p.m. (Central) on ESPN. Should the Jayhawks defeat the Rams of the Atlantic 10 Conference, KU would face the winner of the Santa Clara-Tennessee on Friday, Nov. 28, at 1:30 p.m. (Central). Santa Clara and Tennessee will play just before the KU-URI game on Thanksgiving Day. The KU-URI loser will play the Santa Clara-Tennessee loser at 11.a.m. (Central). The second-round contests will be televised on ESPN or ESPNU.
The destination event will take Saturday off with its final games on Sunday, Nov. 30, and televised on of the ESPN family of networks. Teams on the other side of the bracket include Georgia Tech, Marquette, Michigan State and Rider. In non-bracketed games that are also part of the 2014 Orlando Classic, on Monday, Nov. 24, Kansas will host Rider at 7 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse and Santa Clara will be at Michigan State.
"It's a great field and this will be a good early-season test for us," Kansas head coach Bill Self said. "From what we understand, this is always a first-class event and our players will look forward to participating."
Kansas leads the series with Rhode Island 2-1 with its last meeting, a KU 80-69 win on Dec. 30, 2006, in Allen Fieldhouse. The Rams defeated the Jayhawks, 80-75, in the 1998 NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional in Oklahoma City, and KU won the other meeting, 73-60, in Kansas City, Missouri, on Dec. 29, 1993. Kansas leads the Santa Clara series 5-0 with the last meeting a 99-73 KU victory on Nov. 14, 1997, in Allen Fieldhouse. KU and Tennessee have met twice with both teams claiming home victories – Kansas, 92-85, on Jan. 3, 2009, in Lawrence, and Tennessee, 76-68, on Jan. 10, 2010 in Knoxville.
The other side of the bracket at the 2014 Orlando Classic includes: Michigan State (MSU leads the series 6-4 and has won the last three meetings, most recently the 67-64 win over Kansas in Atlanta in the 2012 Champions Classic); Marquette (KU leads 6-1 and has won the last three meetings. The previous matchup was in the 2003 Final Four, a KU 94-61 victory in New Orleans); Georgia Tech (KU leads 5-1 with the last meeting a 71-66 Jayhawk win in Atlanta on Dec. 18, 2007, during KU's 2008 NCAA National Championship season); and Rider, who Kansas will play Nov. 24 in Lawrence. The Jayhawks lead the Rider series 2-0 with the last meeting being a 103-51 decision on Dec. 15, 1990, in Allen Fieldhouse.
Under Self, Kansas has played in 10 regular-season tournaments. The Jayhawks have won five events in Self's 11 seasons, the 2006 Las Vegas Invitational, the 2007 Jayhawk Invitational, the 2009 Hall of Fame Showcase, the 2011 Las Vegas Invitational and the 2012 CBE Classic.
Kansas Regular-Season Tournaments in the Bill Self Era
Season – Event (location) – place (record)
2003-04 – Holiday Classic (Reno, Nevada) – second (1-1)
2005-06 – Maui Invitational (Lahaina, Hawaii) – seventh (1-2)
2006-07 – Las Vegas Invitational (Las Vegas, Nevada) – first (4-0)
2007-08 -- Jayhawk Invitational (Lawrence, Kansas) - first (4-0)
2008-09 – CBE Classic (Kansas City, Missouri) – second (3-1)
2009-10 -- Hall of Fame Showcase - first (4-0)
2010-11 – Las Vegas Invitational (Las Vegas, Nevada) – first (4-0)
2011-12 – Maui Invitational (Lahaina, Hawaii) – second (3-1)
2012-13 – CBE Classic (Kansas City, Missouri) – first (4-0)
2013-14 – Battle 4 Atlantis (Nassau, Bahamas) – third (3-1)