Sept. 22, 2004

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Princeton, NJ – Missouri, Creighton and Ohio State will each host the Opening Rounds of the Guardians Classic, a twelve-team, exempt college basketball tournament on November 15-16, 2004. The Championship Rounds of the Event will be held on November 23-24 at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri. Other schools participating in the tournament include Alcorn State, Brown, Houston, Iona, Morgan State, Northern Arizona, Robert Morris, Sam Houston State and Towson (Please see printable bracket for match-ups and dates).

The winner of each regional and one “wild card” (four teams total) will advance to the Championship Rounds at historic Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City. Municipal Auditorium has played host to more NCAA Final Fours than any other building. The national collegiate basketball champion has been crowned nine times on the Municipal hardwood.

The criteria for determining the “wild card” team will be based upon 1) Team RPI 2) Relative margin of victory or defeat in the first round, 3) RPI of first round opponent, 4) Relative margin of victory or defeat in the second round, 5) RPI of second round opponent. No weight is given to any victory or defeat greater than 15 points.

Previewing the Three Host Schools:
The Missouri Tigers (16-14 in 2003-04) will have plenty of talent to put on the hardwood this year. Linas Kleiza, Jimmy McKinney, Thomas Gardner and Jason Conley are returning from last years squad, in addition to a great recruiting class. Missouri beat Iowa to win the 2001 Guardians Classic Championship in dramatic fashion. A last second free throw by Clarence Gilbert gave the Tigers a 78-77 victory.

The Creighton Bluejays (20-9 in 2003-04) have advanced to the post season seven straight times under Head Coach Dana Altman. Last years team finished second in the MVC Conference. With Nate Funk, Tyler McKinney and Kellen Miliner back from last years squad, Dana Altman has a lot to look forward to this year. Creighton won the 2002 Guardians Classic Championship beating Notre Dame 80-75 in an electrifying Championship Game.

Ohio State Buckeyes (14-16 in 2003-04) enter the season with new head coach Thad Matta. The new coaching staff has nine letterwinners returning from last year’s squad, including three of their top four scorers in J.J. Sullinger, Terrence Dials and Tony Stockman. Thad Matta enters his first year at Ohio State after guiding Xavier to the elite eight of the N.C.A.A tournament last year.

“We are excited to have twelve outstanding programs compete in this year’s Guardians Classic. The Guardians Classic highlights the positive aspects of college basketball, the role coaches play in the lives of student-athletes, and the contributions that coaches make to their communities,” said Jim Haney, Executive Director of the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

Tickets for the Championship Rounds will be available beginning at 10 a.m. today, September 21, 2004, and can be purchased at the following locations:

The Official Guardians Classic Website:

Ticketmaster – (816)931-3330 or
The Municipal Auditorium Box Office

Opening Round tickets can be purchased through each host school’s box office:

Ohio State University (800) GO-BUCKS or visit
University of Missouri: (800) CAT-PAWS or visit
Creighton University: (402) 422-1212 or visit