Fox Sports launches rival college basketball tournament against NIT

A new college basketball tournament will enter the postseason landscape in 2025. 

The joint venture between Fox Sports and AEG called the College Basketball Crown will launch next year and feature 16 teams that failed to reach the NCAA Tournament. 

The inaugural tournament will take place in Las Vegas with MGM Grand Garden Arena and T-Mobile Arena serving as the host sites, and two teams from the Big Ten, Big 12 and Big East receiving automatic bids. 

The rest of the field will be filled out with at-large bids selected by a committee. 

“We are honored to participate in the inaugural College Basketball Crown, which will be an exciting and innovative addition to the college basketball calendar,” Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman said in a statement.  “We are confident that the formidable capabilities of FOX Sports, AEG, and their event partners will translate into a high-quality post-season opportunity for our coaches, players and schools.”

Commissioner Val Ackerman of the Big East Conference, which will receive automatic bids to the new college basketball tournament, the College Basketball Crown. Getty Images

College Basketball Crown games will be aired on Fox and FS1. 

The new postseason tournament will rival the National Invitation Tournament, which had several notable schools – including St. John’s – decline participation in this year’s event. 

The NCAA runs the NIT and had changed the selection process to include more teams from power-six conferences. 

The National Invitation Tournament decal is seen on the court before the start of the quarterfinal game of the NIT Basketball Tournament between the Utah Utes and the VCU Rams at the Jon M Huntsman Center. Getty Images
Cole Bajema #2 of the Utah Utes drives to the basket against Pryce Sandfort #24 of the Iowa Hawkeyes during the second half of the second round of the men’s basketball National Invitation Tournament. Getty Images

The 32-team tournament is college basketball’s oldest and had been a longstanding tradition at Madison Square Garden from 1938 to 2019. 

“Postseason college basketball is one of the most exciting times of year and FOX Sports is proud to be at the forefront of efforts to evolve and elevate the sport,” Executive Vice President, FOX Sports Jordan Bazant said in a statement. “Alongside AEG and the Big Ten, Big 12 and BIG EAST, we are thrilled to provide more opportunities for student-athletes to compete in high quality postseason college hoops and for viewers to enjoy the chase for the College Basketball Crown.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *