The organizers for the 2014 Battle 4 Atlantis officially announced Tuesday what was already rumored, that the Florida Gators will help headline a strong eight-team field that will participate in the Bahamas-based event over Thanksgiving weekend next year.
Florida is just one-eighth of a loaded field that includes Butler, Georgetown, Oklahoma, North Carolina, UCLA, Wisconsin and Alabama-Birmingham. The Gators will be guaranteed to play at least three of the other programs from Nov. 26-28, 2014 as the event is a bracket-style tournament with first-, third-, fifth- and seventh-place games.
Teams are seeded based on ranking and a couple other factors. With a majority of the teams likely to be ranked next year, it is expected to be the best and most competitive Battle 4 Atlantis in the tournament’s third season of existence.
Each game is held inside the Imperial Arena (a grand ballroom transformed into a basketball arena) at the Atlantis Resorts on Paradise Island in Nassau, Bahamas.
It will be the first time Florida plays in such an exotic setting since UF participated in the Maui Invitational at the start of the 1999-00 campaign.
Gators head coach Billy Donovan has a fondness for premier non-conference tournaments and events even if Florida has not participated in a large number of them in the past. This season, UF is taking part in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, Jimmy V. Classic and Orange Bowl Basketball Classic.
The school has already announced that travel packages will be available for fans interested in attending the tournament (and scrapping Thanksgiving holiday plans with their families). Everyone else will be able to watch the games live on ESPN.