Former Wooden Classic restructured as eight-team tournament

The basketball tournament that bears John Wooden’s name won’t feature UCLA again until 2016.

The Bruins played in the Wooden Classic in 16 of 19 times, including the last 10 straight years. Starting in 2013, that event will combine with the Anaheim Classic to form The Wooden Legacy — an eight-team, three-day, 12-game bracketed tournament.

Since the event is now classified as an exempt tournament, NCAA rules dictate that UCLA can only participate once very four years. Schools from the same conference also cannot compete in the same event together.

“The Wooden Legacy will remain loyal to the initial concept of the event, while also allowing it to grow in stature to include more universities,” said Nan and Jim Wooden, John’s children, in a statement. “UCLA has been a wonderful partner with our family throughout the history of the Wooden Classic and we are grateful that an expanded event carrying our father’s name will continue.”

Next year’s field features Arizona State, Creighton, Marquette, Miami, San Diego State, Cal State Fullerton, College of Charleston, and George Washington. ESPN’s family of networks will broadcast the games.

UCLA will participate in the Las Vegas Invitational in November to fill its exempt event slot in 2013. The Bruins will play at The Battle for Atlantis in the Bahamas in 2014, and in the Maui Sports Invitational the year after that.

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  • Hank

    Don’t like it. Personally I feel UCLA should be in every Wooden affiliated tourney (each year).