Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off Brackets Announced
FORT MYERS, Fla. (Aug. 5, 2021) – The two, four-team brackets of the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off have been announced, setting the stage for a pair of champions to be crowned during Thanksgiving Week in picturesque Southwest Florida.
In the Beach Division, Ohio State will take on Seton Hall and Florida will face Cal in semifinal matchups on November 22. Championship and consolation games will be scheduled for primetime on November 24. All games of the Beach Division will be televised nationally on FS1. In the Palms Division, Southern Utah will face Yale and Milwaukee will meet Bowling Green on November 23, with championship and consolation games slated for the afternoon of November 24. Broadcast details for Palms Division games will be announced at a later date.
All Beach and Palms Division games of the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off will be played at Suncoast Credit Union Arena on the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College. Game times for all tournament games will be announced at a later date.
Ohio State holds a 3-2 all-time edge in the series against Seton Hall, but the programs have not met since 2003 – a 75-59 Seton Hall victory. November’s meeting between Cal and Florida will be just the third in the all-time series, with the Bears winning both prior contests. In the Palms Division, it will be the first all-time matchup between Southern Utah and Yale, while Milwaukee and Bowling Green will meet for just the fourth time, with the Panthers earning a three-point victory in their most recent meeting in 2010.
In just three short years, the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off has become a premier early-season destination for some of the country’s top programs. National and conference championship contenders, Final Four participants, All-Conference players, nationally sought-after recruits and Hall of Fame coaches annually highlight the roster of participants at the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off, and this year is no exception.
Florida, Ohio State, Cal and Seton Hall 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, along with Seton Hall, are projected as NCAA Tournament teams this season.
The Palms Division teams of Bowling Green, Milwaukee, Southern Utah and Yale feature a pair of recently crowned conference champions, including Southern Utah last season and Yale in 2020. Meanwhile, Bowling Green and Milwaukee are both well-positioned for runs at their respective conference titles this coming season. Together, the four programs have combined to win 39 conference championships.
Nationally recognized brands have also aligned themselves with the high-profile nature of the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off. Rocket Mortgage returns as the fourth-year title sponsor of the event and are joined this year by premium brands Old Trapper Beef Jerky, State Farm, Roman, Libman and O’Reilly Auto Parts.
Prior to arriving in Fort Myers, the four teams from the Beach Division will host one of the four teams from the Palms Division. Seton Hall will host Yale on Nov. 14, Ohio State will host Bowling Green on Nov. 15, Florida will host Milwaukee on Nov. 18, and Cal will host Southern Utah also on Nov. 18.
At this time, the only way to guarantee tickets for the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off is to purchase an official fan travel package. Travel packages include tickets to each Beach or Palms Division game, hotel accommodations and parking at Suncoast Credit Union Arena. For complete travel package information, log on to fmto.wpengine.com/travel. Ticket-only packages, based on availability, will become available this fall. To receive the latest email alerts regarding tournament news, ticket information and more, visit our website at fmto.wpengine.com.
Beach Division Matchup Notes
Ohio State vs. Seton Hall
Series Record: Ohio State leads, 3-2
Last Matchup: December 20, 2003 (Seton Hall 75, Ohio State 59)
Notable: The teams have played one neutral site contest previously (1960, Madison Square Garden) … The home team has won the other four games in the series (Ohio State in 1995 and 2002, Seton Hall in 1992 and 2003) … the matchup will feature a meeting of former teammates as Ohio State’s Seth Towns and Seton Hall’s Bryce Aiken were Harvard teammates from 2016-2020.
Cal vs. Florida
Series Record: Cal leads, 2-0
Last Matchup: Nov. 25, 1988 (Cal 73, Florida 58)
Notable: This will be the third neutral site meeting between the two programs, but first in the contiguous United States (Dec. 27, 1986 in Honolulu, Nov. 25, 1988 in Alaska) … Cal head coach Mark Fox faced Mike White’s Florida team six times previously when he was the head coach at Georgia … White held a 4-2 advantage in that series, but Fox won the last two meetings … All-time, White holds a 5-2 edge in games against Fox (includes a victory as the head coach of Louisiana Tech over Georgia in the 2014 NIT).
Palms Division Matchup Notes
Milwaukee vs. Bowling Green
Series Record: Milwaukee leads, 2-1
Last Matchup: Dec. 18, 2010 (Milwaukee 72, Bowling Green 69)
Notable: This will be the first neutral site matchup in series history … the Panthers won the last two matchups between the programs, at Bowling Green in 2009 and in Milwaukee in 2010 … the first meeting in the series was a Bowling Green victory on Feb. 22, 1975.
Southern Utah vs. Yale
Series Record: First meeting in series history
Notable: Both programs claimed conference championships in their most recent seasons, Southern Utah last year and Yale in 2019-20 … Yale returns to the court this season after the Ivy League cancelled athletic competition last year.