The Badgers’ and Bears’ semifinal matchup will tip off at 8:30 p.m. CT, directly following a matchup between Creighton and UCLA. A consolation and championship games will be played the following day, Nov. 21, at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., respectively. The event’s four games will take place at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., as part of college basketball’s Hall of Fame Weekend.
Baylor, a perennial tournament team, will be a difficult test and a good barometer of success for a Wisconsin team that returns only one starter (Ethan Happ) from last year’s squad. Scott Drew and the Bears return three of their top five scorers from last year’s Sweet 16 roster and are likely to be a preseason top-25 team. If Wisconsin is fortunate enough to get by Baylor, a date with UCLA or Creighton (a team the Badgers lost to last season) awaits in the championship game.
The Badgers will look to keep up their recent success in non-conference tournaments, having won the Battle 4 Atlantis in 2014-15 and reaching the Maui Invitational championship last year. The 2017 Hall of Fame Classic will be an early-season challenge for Greg Gard’s young roster and will give the Badgers the opportunity to add one or two high-profile wins to their tournament résumé.
In addition to the Hall of Fame Classic, the NABC also announced its 2016-17 Honors Court, which recognizes collegiate basketball student-athletes who excelled in academics last season. Wisconsin’s Matt Ferris and Aaron Moesch were both named as student-athletes with a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher at the conclusion of the 2016-17 academic year. Ferris, a redshirt junior from Appleton, Wis., is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and is pursuing a degree in finance at the UW Business School. Moesch, a redshirt senior from Green Bay, Wis., is also studying finance at the UW Business School and is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.