Ultimate guide to early-season tournaments

A new college basketball season will tip off with the State Farm Champions Classic on Nov. 6 with a field featuring four teams in the top 10 of ESPN's Way-Too-Early Top 25.

The fields for several other early-season tournaments and events have already been determined, with more to follow.

Here's a guide to the matchups to start the 2018-19 season:

State Farm Champions Classic

Nov. 6 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis

Michigan State vs. Kansas (7 p.m. on ESPN)

Duke vs. Kentucky (9:30 p.m. on ESPN)

Why watch: An epic start to the season is reason enough. Four of the powerhouses in the sport will meet and introduce so many of the new stars that will dominate headlines this season.

Armed Forces Classic

Nov. 9 at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas

Arkansas vs. Texas (TBD on ESPN)

Why watch: This is a pivotal season for Shaka Smart. Despite losing Mohamed Bamba, he brings back enough talent to get back to the NCAA tournament. Arkansas sophomore Daniel Gafford will be one of the better big men in the country.

Jimmy V Classic

Dec. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York

Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma (7 p.m. ET on ESPN)
West Virginia vs. Florida (9 p.m. ET on ESPN)

Why watch: All four teams have to replace major contributors. Trae Young is gone from Oklahoma; Matt Farrell and Bonzie Colson wrapped up their storied careers for Notre Dame; Jevon Carter is no longer spearheading Bob Huggins' Press Virginia and Chris Chiozza is no longer at Florida.

2K Classic

Nov. 15-16 at Madison Square Garden in New York

Best possible matchup: Oregon's Louis King vs. Syracuse's Oshae Brissett. Both players are overshadowed by teammates, with Bol Bol the headline freshman at Oregon and Tyus Battle the main man for the Orange, but King and Brissett are firmly on NBA radars.

Why watch: We can see early developments for untested teams. How will Oregon use Bol in its frontcourt? Can Dan Hurley change the culture at UConn after taking over a program that became dysfunctional in the latter part of Kevin Ollie's tenure? Is Iowa ready to improve after returning most of its rotation? And can Syracuse build off its impressive NCAA tournament run?

Charleston Classic

Nov. 15-18 at TD Arena in Charleston, South Carolina

Best possible matchup: Purdue's Carsen Edwards vs. Davidson's Kellan Grady. Two of the best backcourt scorers in the country could be poised for a big season.

Why watch: Virginia Tech returns most of its key pieces from last season, including Justin Robinson, Kerry Blackshear, Chris Clarke and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and expectations are higher than last season's 21-12 record. Alabama is intriguing, despite the loss of Collin Sexton. Herbert Jones should be on everyone's radar.

Myrtle Beach Invitational

Nov. 15-18 at HTC Center in Conway, South Carolina

Best possible matchup: Western Kentucky vs. UCF. There's a good chance West Virginia is the best team in the field, but it would be an interesting gauge of the strength of Conference USA and the American to see their most talented teams face off.

Why watch: Charles Bassey. The top-five prospect reclassified in June and committed to Western Kentucky, giving Rick Stansbury arguably the best player in Conference USA. There will be some early tests for him in South Carolina, though, and Bob Huggins won't take it easy on him in a potential semifinal battle against the Mountaineers.

Legends Classic

Nov. 19-20 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn

Best possible matchup: St. John's Shamorie Ponds vs. VCU's Marcus Evans. Ponds is arguably the best player in the Big East, while Evans was one of the most sought-after transfers in the country when he left Rice two years ago.

Why watch: There's a lot of untapped talent at St. John's and Temple. Neither team has fully lived up to expectations in recent years. For the Red Storm, we'll have a chance to see if the newcomers -- including Mustapha Heron, potentially -- are as good as advertised. Meanwhile, Temple is entering its final season with Fran Dunphy at the helm.

Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker

Nov. 19-20 at Sprint Center in Kansas City

Best possible matchup: Nebraska's James Palmer Jr. vs. USC's Bennie Boatwright. Palmer had a breakout campaign last season after transferring from Miami, and is ready to become a national name. Boatwright just needs to stay healthy; he's a matchup nightmare at 6-foot-10 with his shooting ability.

Why watch: Nebraska's quest to be a Big Ten contender and USC's hope to take control of Los Angeles are interesting storylines, but perhaps the most intriguing team is Texas Tech. The Red Raiders were on the verge of the Big 12 title last season, but late-season injuries prevented that -- and now Chris Beard has to replace six of his top eight players.

Maui Jim Maui Invitational

Nov. 19-21 at Lahaina Civic Center

Best possible matchup: Duke vs. Gonzaga. This could be a potential Final Four preview in November. Duke welcomes in the top three incoming freshman in the country, but the Blue Devils need to mesh quickly. Gonzaga can be a preseason top-three team, bringing back a loaded frontcourt led by Rui Hachimura and an experienced backcourt with Josh Perkins at the point.

Why watch: It's the premier nonconference tournament this season, with a legitimate national title contender in Gonzaga, a couple more preseason top-10 teams in Duke and Auburn, two of the most consistent programs nationally in Arizona and Xavier, plus breakout players in San Diego State's Jalen McDaniels, Iowa State's Lindell Wigginton and Illinois' Ayo Dosunmu.

Battle 4 Atlantis

Nov. 21-23 at Imperial Arena in the Bahamas

Best possible matchup: Florida vs. Virginia. The Cavaliers should be the favorite to win in the Bahamas, as Tony Bennett returns Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome and De'Andre Hunter on the perimeter. But Florida is going to be very deep and balanced, with a dynamic wing duo in KeVaughn Allen and Jalen Hudson.

Why watch: The last time we saw Virginia, the Cavaliers were become the first 1-seed to lose to a 16-seed in the NCAA tournament. The rest of the field faces question marks: how does Oklahoma replace Trae Young? Can Wisconsin bounce back? Is Middle Tennessee still an annual factor without head coach Kermit Davis? Who steps up for Butler with Kelan Martin gone?

NIT Season Tip-Off

Nov. 21-23 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn

AdvoCare Invitational

Nov. 22-25 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida

Best possible matchup: LSU vs. Florida State. Tigers coach Will Wade brings in a loaded recruiting class and also returns Tremont Waters, while Leonard Hamilton has his usual group of experienced veterans who will guard.

Why watch: Waters is one of the most exciting players in college basketball, and Penny Hardaway will have an early test in his first season at Memphis. Florida State is getting some preseason top-25 hype and well, Villanova is Villanova. How good will the Wildcats be after the mass exodus to the NBA?

Wooden Legacy

Nov. 22-25 at Titan Gym in Fullerton, California

Best possible matchup: Miami's Chris Lykes vs. La Salle's Pookie Powell. Two undersized, exciting guards going head-to-head. Lykes will have to take on a bigger role this season.

Why watch: Questions surround the favorites, as Miami (Lonnie Walker and Bruce Brown), Northwestern (Bryant McIntosh and Scottie Lindsey) and Seton Hall (lost four senior starters) have major holes to fill. A sleeper could sneak up and win this one.

Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic

Dec. 22-25 at Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu

Best possible matchup: Colorado's McKinley Wright IV vs. UNLV's Shakur Juiston. They won't guard each other, but it's two guys that don't get enough national attention. Wright was one of the best freshman guards in the country last season, and Juiston averaged a double-double.

Why watch: TCU isn't supposed to take much of a step back despite losing some key players from last season's NCAA tournament team. Jaylen Fisher, Alex Robinson and Desmond Bane are all back, and Jamie Dixon also welcomes key newcomers. There's also the beginning of the post-Dan Hurley era at Rhode Island.