Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off Welcomes Gonzaga, Kansas, Auburn, Saint Joseph’s to Southwest Florida
FORT MYERS, Fla. (Nov. 6, 2020) – Gonzaga, Kansas, Auburn and Saint Joseph’s make up the four-team field for the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off, event organizers announced today. Games will be played Nov. 26 and 27 and will be televised by FOX Sports.
FOX will carry the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off opener on Nov. 26 at 1:30 p.m. ET, featuring a top-10 tilt between Kansas, last year’s No. 1 team in the final Associated Press poll, and Gonzaga, which was No. 2 in the final AP last year and widely considered one of the top teams heading into the 2020-21 season. FS1 will televise Game 2 of the doubleheader at 4:30 p.m., featuring Auburn, fresh off its third straight 25-win season, and Saint Joseph’s, which returns its top five scorers from last season.
The second day of the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off will begin at 11 a.m. on Nov. 27 with FOX broadcasting the Gonzaga-Auburn tilt and conclude with Kansas facing Saint Joseph’s at 2 p.m. on FS1. FOX Sports play-by-play announcer Adam Amin and lead college basketball analyst Bill Raftery will call all four games of the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off.
“We are thrilled to be able to welcome some of college basketball’s blue bloods to Southwest Florida for the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off,” said Mark Starsiak, vice president at Intersport and event director for the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off. “With the litany of scheduling challenges these programs faced in light of the new start of the college basketball season, we’re proud to bring these teams together for four games of incredible competition on a national stage. We’re looking forward to two days of high-level competition and put a national spotlight on Fort Myers, Lee County and Southwest Florida.”
Auburn has recorded three straight seasons with 25 or more wins under Bruce Pearl, including a 30-win campaign in 2018-19 that saw the Tigers notch their first Final Four appearance in program history. Entering his seventh season with Auburn, Pearl returns a young roster and welcomes one of the top recruiting classes in the nation. Devan Cambridge, Jamal Johnson and Allen Flanigan each appeared in all 31 games for the Tigers last season, with Cambridge and Johnson leading the team in 3-point shooting percentage. Auburn’s five-man recruiting class is comprised of highly touted players, including top-100 prospects Sharife Cooper, JT Thor and Justin Powell.
Gonzaga, a 31-win team last year, welcomes back an experienced nucleus of talent, led by Preseason All-American Corey Kispert, along with all-conference caliber standouts Joel Ayayi and Drew Timme. The Bulldogs, which boast six 30-win campaigns in the last eight years – including each of the last four seasons – also add three top-100 freshmen to its roster, headlined by top-10 prospect Jalen Suggs. Head coach Mark Few, now in his 22nd season at the helm of the Gonzaga program, owns a 599-124 career record, an .828 winning percentage – a mark that ranks second all-time in NCAA history. Few has guided the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament every year, including the 2017 national championship game, and to a No. 1 ranking in three of the last four seasons.
Led by Preseason All-American Marcus Garrett, Kansas enters the 2020-21 campaign as a consensus top-10 program. The Jayhawks returned to the top of the Big 12 last season and finished the season as the No. 1 ranked team in the Associated Press poll. Head coach Bill Self enters his 18th season with the Jayhawks and owns a 501-109 record with the program. Kansas has made three Final Fours, claimed the 2008 NCAA Championship and has never been lower than a four seed in the NCAA Tournament under Self. In addition to Garrett, Kansas returns juniors Ochai Agbaji and David McCormack, who started 31 and 18 games, respectively, for the Jayhawks last season. KU’s four newcomers include 2020 McDonald’s All-American guard Bryce Thompson along with junior college All-American transfer Tyon Grant-Foster.
Saint Joseph’s returns nearly every major contributor from its roster for the 2020-21 season, including its top five leading scorers from last year’s squad. Ryan Daly, who was a third team all-conference performer last year, finished the season as the A-10 scoring leader at 20.6 points per game, while adding 6.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. Cameron Brown (10.1 ppg), Taylor Funk (9.4), Myles Douglas (7.8) and Rahmir Moore (7.3) return to make up the Hawks’ top five scorers from last season’s squad. Head coach Billy Lange enters his second season at the helm of the Hawks, coming to the program after spending six seasons as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Due to social distancing restrictions inside the arena, an extremely limited number of fans will be able to attend the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off. There will be no public sale of tickets, but a small number of socially distanced pairs of tickets will be distributed. Fans interested in attending the event should submit a ticket request form at www.fortmyerstipoff.com/tickets. Fans will be contacted by a ticket representative on a first-come, first-served basis, based on the submission date of their ticket request form, for their opportunity to purchase tickets.
The health and safety of everyone involved in the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off is the event’s top priority. Event organizers are regularly monitoring developments regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and will implement safety measures based on prevailing guidelines from the Florida Department of Health and national health entities to help protect the health and safety all of players, coaches, fans and staff.
Broadcast Schedule (All times ET)
Gonzaga vs. Kansas, 1:30 p.m., FOX
Auburn vs. Saint Joseph’s, 4:30 p.m., FS1
Auburn vs. Gonzaga, 11 a.m., FOX
Kansas vs. Saint Joseph’s, 2 p.m., FS1
Gonzaga vs. Kansas
- Series Record: Kansas leads, 1-0
- Last Matchup: November 13, 1998: Kansas 80, Gonzaga 66
- Notable: The 1998-99 season marked the first of 21 straight years the Bulldogs would advance to the NCAA Tournament, the fourth longest active streak in the nation. Kansas, with 30 straight NCAA Tournament appearances, holds the longest active streak in the country.
Auburn vs. Saint Joseph’s
- Series Record: Auburn leads, 2-0
- Last Matchup: March 21, 2003: Auburn 65, Saint Joseph’s 63 (OT)
- Notable: Each of the two Auburn wins in the series was decided by two points; including the most recent matchup – a first-round NCAA Tournament game that was played in Tampa.
Gonzaga vs. Auburn
- Series Record: First all-time meeting
- Notable: Bruce Pearl and Mark Few have squared off three times previously when Pearl was at Tennessee. Few owns a 2-1 all-time record against Pearl:
- Dec. 29, 2007: Tennessee 82, Gonzaga 72
- Nov. 30, 2008: Gonzaga 83, Tennessee 74
- Jan. 7, 2009: Gonzaga 89, Tennessee 79
Kansas vs. Saint Joseph’s
- Series Record: Kansas leads, 5-2
- Last matchup: Dec. 6, 2005: Saint Joseph’s 70, Kansas 67
- Notable: Saint Joseph’s has won both neutral site matchups in the seven-game history between the programs (67-65 on Dec. 29, 1958 in Manhattan, Kan.; 70-67 on Dec. 6, 2005 in New York City).
About the Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans Fort Myers Tip-Off
Launched in 2018, the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off brings the nation’s top college basketball programs together for two days of incredible competition to see which team and their fans will #OwnTheFort during Thanksgiving Week. Contested at Suncoast Credit Union Arena, the home of Florida SouthWestern State College, the four-team tournament has quickly become a staple of the Southwest Florida sports calendar. For more information on the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off, please visit www.fortmyerstipoff.com.