By Brett Hein - Standard-Examiner | May 12, 2023
The Weber State men’s basketball team’s journeys for multi-team events (MTEs) have recently included trips to The Bahamas, Florida and Las Vegas.
Next year brings a brand-new locale, not just for Weber State but for the NCAA.
Weber State has signed up to play in a new MTE for the 2023-24 season: the Atlantic Slam in Moncton, New Brunswick, WSU head coach Eric Duft told the Standard-Examiner. It’s the first-ever NCAA competition in Atlantic Canada (the three provinces in the Atlantic Time Zone), according to the city of Moncton.
The rest of the four-team field is not yet announced but CBB reporter Rocco Miller reports Yale and Gardner-Webb will also participate. Both of those schools would bring a first-time meeting for Weber State.
“Playing at the Avenir Centre will provide college athletes with a top-notch facility in which to showcase their skills while fans will experience top-level basketball played by outstanding athletes, some of whom may go on play in the NBA,” said Jeff Dunlap, a former NCAA coach who is consulting for the event, in a news release.
The games, scheduled for Nov. 16-19, will be played at the Avenir Centre, a multi-purpose, 8,500-seat arena built in 2018 that hosts hockey, basketball and concerts.
The Atlantic Slam gives Weber State three more confirmed games for the 2023-24 season that includes a home game against Cal Poly. Weber State will also host South Dakota State and travel to Oral Roberts as part of the Big Sky-Summit Challenge.
All previous contracts with in-state schools have run their course for WSU men’s basketball. It’s unclear, especially with BYU entering the Big 12 and three other schools (Utah State, Utah Valley, Southern Utah) having new head coaches, what might develop for in-state games.
The Weber State women currently have four games solidified: hosting Kansas City and traveling to Western Illinois for the Big Sky-Summit Challenge, and road games at Utah and Utah Tech.
Potentially complicating matters, however: Western Illinois announced Friday it is leaving the Summit League (and Missouri Valley for football) to join the Ohio Valley Conference. The non-football teams move this summer, putting into question the integrity of the Big Sky-Summit Challenge as both teams had, but won’t any longer, 10 teams each.
Other Utah schools announced Thursday their men’s MTE plans for November.
BYU will play in the Vegas Showdown with Arizona State, NC State and Vanderbilt.
Utah is set for the Charleston Classic in South Carolina. The eight-team field there includes Dayton, Houston, LSU, North Texas, St. John’s, Towson and Wake Forest; matchups will be announced at a later date.