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All you need to know as Basketball Hall of Fame returns to Belfast



On target: UB Bulls player CJ Massinburg

On target: UB Bulls player CJ Massinburg

On target: UB Bulls player CJ Massinburg

The Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic returns to the SSE Arena today with some of America's top college teams competing across three days of non-stop action.

What is the Basketball Hame of Fame?

Featuring colleges from the NCAA's Division I and broadcast coast-to-coast in the States by CBS, it's one of the top collegiate events of the year and a rare chance for teams to play outside of North America.

Who's taking part in it?

The tournament, now in its second year, has expanded to eight teams who have been separated into two brackets, competing for two trophies.

In the 'Samson' bracket, Dartmouth College, LIU Brooklyn, Marist College and the University of Albany are the competing colleges; while Stephen F Austin State University, the University at Buffalo Bulls, the University of San Francisco and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will all contest the 'Goliath' bracket.

So when are the games?

This year's edition will be run over three days as opposed to two, with the action getting under way this afternoon and finishing on Saturday.

Marist and Dartmouth kick-off the event in the first Samson semi-final at 4.30pm, with the second semi-final between LIU and Albany at 7pm. The Goliath semi-finals see Milwaukee meet Buffalo and San Francisco face SFA tomorrow.

Who should I expect to come out on top?

While it's tough to see who could come out on top in the Samson bracket, the University at Buffalo Bulls are the clear favourites for the Goliath title.

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Ranked at No.21 in Associated Press' latest college rankings and undefeated in their first five games of the season, they're the big draw this week and are hoping to keep their good run going.

"We're staying true to ourselves," says star player and leading scorer CJ Massinburg. "We pride ourselves on playing tough, and I feel like that's why we're playing so well."

Bulls guard Dontay Caruthers added: "It's been a bit rainy but it's been nice so far - the city is phenomenal.

"It'd be awesome to check a Championship off our list - it'd be fun, and it would make all the travel worth it!"

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