This is the kind of headline that would look out of place in any year except 2020, but, no, the Battle 4 Atlantis will not be relocating from the Bahamas to South Dakota.
The tournament’s organizers announced Friday that the event, one of the premier early-season tournaments in college basketball, has simply been canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. The announcement denied reports that the tournament was relocating to Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
#Battle4Atlantis is cancelled this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. We have not relocated the event to Sioux Falls, SD. Any reported mentions of this are incorrect. Atlantis and Battle 4 Atlantis is not affiliated with the upcoming events scheduled to take place in SD.— AtlantisBahamas (@atlantisbahamas) September 18, 2020
CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein had previously reported the tournament was relocating to Sioux Falls’ Sanford Pentagon with the same field of eight teams. The Maui Invitational is reportedly pulling a similar move, moving from the Hawaiian Island to Asheville, North Carolina.
Typically held on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, the 2020 men’s field for the Battle 4 Atlantis was slated to be Creighton, Duke, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Utah, West Virginia, Wichita State and Memphis.
The NCAA Division I men’s and women’s basketball season is currently slated to begin on Nov. 25, around when the Battle 4 Atlantis is typically played.
Where will Duke, rest of field go?
While the 2020 Battle 4 Atlantis is canceled, that doesn’t mean a tournament between all or most of the teams in the field won’t be playing an event in South Dakota. The Battle 4 Atlantis organizers’ announcement simply emphasized that whatever event is held, they won’t be involved.
There had been rumblings from CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander that Duke had been holding out of a possible new event in South Dakota, unaffiliated with the Battle 4 Atlantis. One team had reportedly been lined up to replace Duke for the event to be held between Nov. 25 and 27.
Where Duke ends could be even more interesting. Norlander reports that the school is in the process of trying to build its own event to be held on its Durham campus, with a theme centered on social justice activism.
Such an event could similar to what we’ve seen out of the NBA bubble, where social justice slogans like “Black Lives Matter” have been featured heavily on the court and other visuals.
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