Fourth-Annual Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off Begins Monday
FORT MYERS, Fla. (Nov. 19, 2021) – The fourth-annual Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off is set to begin Monday at the Suncoast Credit Union Arena on the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College, with three programs likely heading to this year’s Tournament as top 25 teams.
This year’s slate will feature two four-team fields for the first time – the Beach Division and the Palms Division. The Beach Division will include the in-state Florida Gators, Ohio State Buckeyes, Cal Bears and Seton Hall Pirates and be held on Monday and Wednesday. The Palms Division will be staged on Tuesday and Wednesday and will feature the Bowling Green Falcons, Milwaukee Panthers, Southern Utah Thunderbirds and Yale Bulldogs.
Monday’s games in the Beach Division include Ohio State taking on Seton Hall at 6 p.m. ET and Florida facing Cal at 8:30 p.m. The four teams will return to the court on Wednesday, with the third-place game scheduled for 6 p.m. and the championship game set for 8:30 p.m. All four games of the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off Beach Division will be televised nationally on FS1 with Brandon Gaudin and Bill Raftery on the call.
Ohio State and Florida head to Fort Myers as nationally ranked squads at Nos. 19 and 24, respectively, while the Pirates are off to a 3-0 start and are likely to crack the top 25 next week following their victory on the road against No. 4 Michigan on Tuesday.
“The growth of the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off has been so impressive, and to attract these high-caliber programs, it shows the event has arrived,” said Raftery. “The matchups are great and whoever comes away with this year’s title will have some very quality wins. Florida’s participation brings a lot of excitement locally, and along with Seton Hall and Ohio State, are top 25-caliber teams that have had great starts to the year. Cal has some new faces and is starting to get healthy, so and this will be a good test, not only for them, but for every team in the Tournament.”
Palms Division action tips off on Tuesday, with Southern Utah taking on Yale at Noon ET, followed by Milwaukee versus Bowling Green at 2:30 p.m. Day two for the Palms Division will take place on Wednesday, with the third-place game set for 11 a.m. and championship game tipping off at 1:30 p.m.
The complete Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off game schedule can be found below:
|Monday, Nov. 22||Beach Division||Ohio State vs. Seton Hall||6 p.m.|
|Monday, Nov. 22||Beach Division||Cal vs. Florida||8:30 p.m.|
|Tuesday, Nov. 23||Palms Division||Yale vs. Southern Utah||Noon|
|Tuesday, Nov. 23||Palms Division||Bowling Green vs. Milwaukee||2:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday, Nov. 24||Palms Division||Third-Place Game||11 a.m.|
|Wednesday, Nov. 24||Palms Division||Championship Game||1:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday, Nov. 24||Beach Division||Third-Place Game||6 p.m.|
|Wednesday, Nov. 24||Beach Division||Championship Game||8:30 p.m.|
This year’s tournament field features star power across the board. Ohio State junior forward E.J. Liddell has been named to several preseason award watch lists, including NABC Player of the Year, and is a College Hoops Today Preseason All-American and Preseason All-Big Ten standout. Seton Hall senior guard Jared Rhoden, the Pirates’ leading returning scorer, was named to the Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team.
Florida senior forward Colin Castleton was named to the Preseason All-SEC First Team and will lead an experienced Gator squad that features four Division I transfers. Cal, led by third-year head coach Mark Fox, brings in a veteran roster of their own with the senior quartet of Grant Anticevich, Makale Foreman, Andre Kelly, and Jordan Shepherd combining for over 430 appearances in their careers.
In the Palms Division, both Yale (Ivy) and Southern Utah (Big Sky) were picked to win their respective conference championships this season by league coaches, while three Thunderbirds, Tevian Jones (Big Sky Preseason Player of the Year), John Knight and Maizen Fausett were named to the Preseason All-Conference team. Yale’s Azar Swain earned First-Team All-Ivy honors while setting the program single-season record for three-pointers (93).
Milwaukee was picked to finish fourth in what expects to be a very competitive Horizon League season, while Panther freshman Patrick Baldwin Jr., a projected lottery pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, was voted a first-team Preseason All-Conference performer. Bowling Green carries one of the most experienced rosters in its conference with 10 upperclassmen – highlighted by Preseason All-MAC First Team selection Daeqwon Plowden.
Single-Session tickets for the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off begin at just $22 and can be secured by visiting the tournament’s website at fmto.wpengine.com or by calling the Suncoast Credit Union Arena Box Office at 239-481-4849. Full-Tournament tickets for either the Beach or Palms Division are also available.
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 Lee County returns as the host partner of the event. They are joined this year by premium brands Old Trapper Beef Jerky, Applebee’s, State Farm, Roman, Libman and O’Reilly Auto Parts.