The 2023 Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers four-team Beach Division field, featuring four strong conference programs set to compete for preseason bragging rights this November, was announced today.
SMU, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin make up the four-team Beach Division of the 2023 Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off, which will be held November 20-22. All games will be played at the Suncoast Credit Union Arena on Florida Southwestern State College’s campus in Fort Myers, Florida, with game dates, game dates and telecasts to be announced at a later date.
The only way to guarantee tickets for the tournament, which sold out last year, is to purchase an official fan travel package. Travel packages for the 2023 Championship will go on sale this spring, but fans can register immediately to receive information and email alerts from the Championship regarding travel package availability. Details and registration information can be found at www.fortmyerstipoff.com/travel. Ticket-only packages, based on availability, will go on sale this fall.
“The four teams participating in the 2023 Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off are historically strong programs that cement the event’s premiere status in the eyes of the college basketball community,” said Mark Starsiak, Tournament Director and Vice President of Intersport. “Between national championship contenders, new Final Four entrants, coaching veterans and passionate fan bases, these teams will create a very special environment. We can’t wait to host these programs in Lee County and Southwest Florida.”
The four programs of the 2023 Beach Division combined for 82 regular conference or tournament championships and 92 NCAA tournament appearances. Wisconsin and Virginia each made four Final Four appearances over the past decade and the Cavaliers claimed the 2019 NCAA Championship.
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The four coaches who will bring their teams to Southwest Florida in 2023 boast impressive resumes that place them among the most respected and successful coaches in college basketball. Bob Huggins, now in his 16th season as a head coach at West Virginia and 41st overall, is a newly reinvented Naismith Hall of Famer who ranks among the NCAA’s all-time coaching leaders. Tony Bennett led Virginia to a national title in 2019 and is in his 14th season leading the Cavaliers. 2022 Naismith Coach of the Year and Ten-Ten Coach of the Year Greg Gard has led Wisconsin to regular season titles in two of the past three seasons. Finally, Rob Lanier is in his first year at the helm of SMU after three years as head coach at Georgia State and arrives in Dallas with over 30 years as collegiate coaching experience at Tennessee, Florida, Texas and Virginia, among others.
Now in its fifth year, the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off has become one of the premier early season events in the country and a fixture in Southwest Florida’s sports calendar. The tournament, which has hosted several Final Four-caliber programs in its first four seasons including Gonzaga, Kansas, Auburn, Loyola (Chicago), Florida and Ohio State, will host four Power conference programs in the Beach Division for the third year in a row (Georgia Tech, Marquette, Mississippi State and Utah in 2022; Florida, Ohio State, Cal and Seton Hall in 2021).
The 2023 Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off will once again feature a second field of four Palms Division teams. These four participating programs will be announced in the coming months.
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