LAS VEGAS – 2021 National Champion Baylor will battle 2019 champ Virginia while UCLA faces Illinois in the opening round of the Continental Tire Main Event on Friday, Nov. 18 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The four-team tournament, now in its eighth year on The Strip, will feature Continental Tire as title sponsor and continue to benefit Coaches vs. Cancer, an initiative spearheaded by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (www.nabc.com) and the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org).
Continental Tire, headquartered in Fort Mill, South Carolina, entered into a multi-year agreement with tournament promoter bdG Sports following last season’s “Continental Tire Challenge,” which saw Duke beat No. 1 Gonzaga before a record-breaking crowd at T-Mobile Arena. As a corporate supporter of college basketball athletics across the country, Continental Tire is a natural fit to title one of the premier tournaments in college basketball.
“We’re proud to expand our partnership with bdG Sports once again,” said Travis Roffler, Director of Marketing, Continental Tire. “There was so much excitement for the Continental Tire Challenge last year and we expect that the Continental Tire Main Event will bring that same level of enthusiasm this year. We can’t wait to see the four teams battle it out!”
This year’s Continental Tire Main Event is one of the most anticipated tournaments in college basketball. In the last three NCAA Tournaments dating back to 2019, the four teams have combined for three Final Four appearances and two national titles, as well as three No. 1 seeds (Baylor in 2021 and 2022 and Illinois in 2021). March Madness was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19 but Baylor, Virginia and Illinois were all ranked in the final AP Top 25 poll. The four programs have reloaded with 11 of the Top-100 incoming freshman led by No. 5 Amari Bailey (UCLA) and No. 6 Keyonte George (Baylor) and several of the top transfers.
The Baylor-Virginia game will tip at 4 p.m. PT and be broadcast in prime time on the East Coast on ESPN2. UCLA-Illinois will follow at 6:30 p.m. PT on ESPNU. Sunday’s championship game is set for noon PT on ESPN with the consolation game tipping at 2:30 p.m. PT on ESPN.
“We saw last year how Arizona’s Main Event title run gave a young team a ton of confidence and helped propel the Wildcats to a Top 5 ranking the rest of the season,” said Brooks Downing, bdG Sports founder and CEO, on the Wildcats’ wins over Wichita State and Michigan. “Any of the four teams in this year’s tournament could leave Vegas ranked No. 1 in the country and on a collision course with a national title. And we love our relationship with Continental Tire and look forward to delivering a great weekend of basketball in Las Vegas at the Continental Tire Main Event.”
Tickets for the two-day tournament start at $49 per day (prices are inclusive of tax and facility fee). Tickets can be purchased at www.tmobilearena.com or www.axs.com. Tickets will allow access to both games on the given day.
Complete tournament information can be found at www.continentaltiremainevent.com and on social media at @VegasMainEvent. Fan travel packages for the tournament are available now on the event website.
CONTINENTAL TIRE MAIN EVENT SCHEDULE
Friday, Nov. 18
- 4 p.m. PT – Baylor vs. Virginia (ESPN2)
- 6:30 p.m. PT – UCLA vs. Illinois (ESPNU)
Sunday, Nov. 20
- Noon PT – Championship (ESPN)
- 2:30 p.m. PT – Consolation (ESPN)