Florida, Ohio State, Cal, Seton Hall Head to Southwest Florida for 2021 Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off

Florida, Ohio State, Cal, Seton Hall Head to Southwest Florida for 2021 Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off

March 31, 2021

FORT MYERS, Fla. (March 31, 2021) – Florida, Ohio State, Cal and Seton Hall make up the four-team field for the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off, Tournament officials announced today. The event will once again be staged at Suncoast Credit Union Arena on the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College during Thanksgiving week.

Game dates, matchups, game times and television designations will be announced at a later date.

The four programs boast a combined 84 NCAA Tournament berths and 127 postseason appearances (NCAA and NIT). Ohio State is sixth all-time with 10 Final Four appearances and accounts for more than half of the 19 combined national semifinal appearances among the four teams. The Buckeyes and Gators are among the top 15 nationally in NCAA Tournament games played since 2011 and most recently, the Buckeyes were a No. 2 seed and the Gators a No. 7 seed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. In addition, Seton Hall is among the Big East’s perennial contenders, having won two conference championships (2020 regular season, 2016 tournament) in the last six seasons, while Cal, under the direction of head coach Mark Fox, continues its climb up the Pac-12 standings after his first two seasons with the program.

With the announcement of its 2021 field, the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off has quickly compiled an impressive roster of high-profile programs that have competed or are scheduled to participate in the event in its first four years. Five teams from the 2018-21 Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off Tournament fields– Loyola (2018), Gonzaga, which earned a spot in the Final Four on Tuesday night, and Kansas (2020) and Florida and Ohio State (2021) – earned berths to the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

Official fan travel packages for the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off will be available in June for fans looking to spend Thanksgiving Week in sunny Fort Myers with their favorite team. Information on travel packages can be found at fortmyerstipoff.com/travel. Ticket-only packages, based on availability, will go on sale this fall. Fans interested in ticket-only packages can visit fortmyerstipoff.com/tickets to sign up to receive future ticket updates regarding the 2021 Tournament.

About the teams of the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off:

Cal Bears (Pac-12)

  • Boasts 28 postseason appearances, including 19 NCAA Tournament appearances and nine NIT berths
  • Has claimed 15 conference championships in program history
  • Head coach Mark Fox, who has averaged nearly 20 wins per season over his 16-year coaching career, enters his third season with the Cal program.
  • Junior Matt Bradley, who averaged better than 18 points per game for the Bears, will return after being named a second-team All-Pac-12 performer this season
  • Seniors Grant Anticevich and Makale Foreman, which finished the year among the team’s top five scoring leaders, will return next season

Florida Gators (SEC)

  • Has appeared in each of the last four NCAA Tournaments, 21 all-time, and was a No. 7 seed in the 2021 Tournament
  • Since 2000, the Gators have advanced to the Elite Eight seven times, the national semifinals four times and won two national championships (2006, 2007)
  • Since 2011, Florida has played in 25 NCAA Tournament games, which ranks eighth nationally
  • Head coach Mike White has recorded 123 victories in his first six seasons with Florida, the second-most by any coach in Florida history in their first six years (Billy Donovan, 124)
  • Junior Colin Castleton (Second Team) was named an All-SEC performer this season

Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten)

  • Owns 24 conference championships, including 20 regular season and four tournament titles
  • Has appeared in 10 Final Fours in program history, tied for most among any Big Ten program and sixth-most in NCAA history, with 30 all-time NCAA berths
  • Has won 20 or more games in 16 of the last 17 seasons
  • Head coach Chris Holtmann has averaged 22 victories in each of his first three seasons with the Buckeyes
  • Sophomore E.J. Liddell (First Team) and junior Duane Washington (Third Team) were named All-Big Ten performers this past season

Seton Hall Pirates (Big East)

  • Earned a share of the Big East regular season championship in 2020, its first regular season title since 1993
  • Has had six players recognized as All-Americans in the last six seasons, including Myles Powell (First Team) in 2020 and Sandro Mamukelashvili (honorable mention) in 2021
  • Has appeared in four of the last five NCAA Tournaments and 13 overall
  • Claimed 20 or more wins in five of the last six seasons and six times overall in 11 seasons under head coach Kevin Willard
  • Willard boasts 204 wins in his 11 seasons with the Pirates, ranking third all-time in school history

All-Time Tournament Fields:

2018 Tournament

Boston College (ACC)

Loyola (Chicago) (MVC)

Richmond (A-10)


2019 Tournament

Bradley (MVC)

K-State (Big 12)

Northwestern (Big Ten)

Pitt (ACC)

2020 Tournament

Auburn (SEC)

Gonzaga (WCC)*

Kansas (Big 12)

St. Joseph’s (A-10)

2021 Tournament

Cal (Pac-12)

Florida (SEC)

Ohio State (Big Ten)

Seton Hall (Big East)

Bold indicates Tournament champion

* – Went 2-0 in non-bracketed tournament

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About the Rocket Mortgage 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 fortmyerstipoff.com.