April 26, 2012

JMU Gets Big Name

HARRISONBURG - James Madison will have at least one big name on its 2012-13 men's basketball schedule.

The Dukes will play at either Indiana, UCLA, Georgetown or Georgia in the first round of the Legends Classic sometime between Nov. 11 and 15. As part of the same tournament, JMU will later play three games at Duquesne in Pittsburgh against less-heralded schools.

It is a so-called exempt event under NCAA rules, giving teams an opportunity to play more games than typically permitted.

"In terms of scheduling, you get four games and they only count as two," JMU coach Matt Brady said, explaining his rationale for putting his team in the tournament.

The event is similar to one JMU competed in two seasons ago, when it traveled to play Kansas State as part of the O'Reilly Auto Parts Classic, and then got to host Princeton, Presbyterian and Bucknell on three consecutive nights in November 2011.

While the smaller schools head to Duquesne, the big-name schools will play at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn (future home of the Brooklyn Nets), even if they lose the game they host.

Legends Classic tournament director Ray Cella said JMU's opponents have not yet been selected.

North Dakota State, Liberty, UC Irvine and Sam Houston State appear to be other teams involved in the event, according to a listing on CBSSportsline.com, but Cella would not confirm any participants.

"We still need to complete the field," he said.

Cella said the host games are not necessarily scheduled based on location, so JMU won't necessarily meet nearby Georgetown and could potentially travel across the country to play UCLA.

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