Joe Sullivan | On college basketball

The best feast: College basketball on Thanksgiving

Gonzaga guard Nigel Williams-Goss (5) stands on the court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Utah Valley in Spokane, Wash., Friday, Nov. 11, 2016.(AP Photo/Young Kwak)
Nigel Williams-Goss and his Gonzaga teammates compete in the AdvoCare Invitational this weekend.

You know what college basketball fans like me are thankful for? Thanksgiving weekend games. It has become a tradition, with tournaments — even some of the old-fashioned eight-team types — criss-crossing the country from Florida to Alaska, Anaheim to New York.

It’s actually when some of the best intersectional games of the season take place. In some ways that’s unfortunate, because the matchups take place on neutral courts, often in front of meager crowds. The games are still good, however, and I’ll be watching.


Here’s a look at this week’s tournaments:

 AdvoCare Invitational at Disney World, Orlando, Fla. (Thursday-Sunday)

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First round: Indiana State-Iowa State, Miami-Stanford, Gonzaga-Quinnipiac, Seton Hall-Florida.

Best first-round game: Miami-Stanford.

Final I want to see: Miami-Gonzaga.

Player I want to see: Nigel Williams-Goss of Gonzaga, a transfer from Washington who adds high octane to the Zags’ offense.


Champion: Gonzaga.

 Wooden Legacy at Fullerton, Calif., and Anaheim, Calif. (Thursday-Sunday)

First round: Texas A&M-Cal State-Northridge, New Mexico-Virginia Tech, Dayton-Nebraska, UCLA-Portland.

Best first-round game: New Mexico-Virginia Tech.

Final I want to see: UCLA-New Mexico. UCLA coach Steve Alford left the Lobos for the Bruins.


Player I want to see: Lonzo Ball of UCLA, who has been compared to Jason Kidd.

Champion: UCLA.

 Battle 4 Atlantis at Nassau, Bahamas (Wednesday-Friday)

First round: Michigan State-St. John’s, Baylor-VCU, LSU-Wichita State, Louisville-Old Dominion.

Best first-round game: Baylor-VCU. Both teams might be better than originally projected.

Final I want to see: VCU-Louisville. Let’s have a 200-point game.

Player I want to see: Miles Bridges of Michigan State, a freshman who’s leading the Spartans in scoring and rebounding.

Champion: Louisville.

 Great Alaska Shootout (Wednesday-Saturday)

First-round: Buffalo-Alaska Anchorage, Oakland-Nevada, Drake-Iona, UC Davis-Weber State.

Best first-round game: Oakland-Nevada.

Final I want to see: Nevada-Iona.

Player I want to see: Jordan Washington, Iona. He’s the Gaels’ newest scoring machine.

Champion: Nevada.

 Barclays Classic at Brooklyn (Friday-Saturday)

First round: Kansas State-Boston College, Maryland-Richmond.

Final I want to see: BC-Richmond.

Player I want to see: Melo Trimble, Maryland. Let’s see if he’s improved.

Champion: Maryland.

 Global Sports Classic at Las Vegas (Friday-Saturday)

First round: Washington-Western Kentucky, TCU-UNLV.

Final I want to see: Washington-TCU.

Player I want to see: Markelle Fultz, Washington. The 6-4 guard is projected as the NBA’s No. 1 pick in 2017.

Champion: Washington.

Addendum: This is an eight-team, split-bracket tournament. It’s basically varsity and JV.

 Emerald Coast Classic at Niceville, Fla. (Friday-Saturday)

First round: Virginia-Iowa, Memphis-Providence.

Final I want to see: Virginia-Providence.

Player I want to see: Peter Jok, Iowa, who’s chucking up threes and averaging 24 points per game.

Champion: Iowa.

 Las Vegas Invitational (Thursday-Friday)

First round: Arizona-Santa Clara, Butler-Vanderbilt.

Final I want to see: Arizona-Butler.

Player I want to see: Lauri Markkanen, Arizona. The 7-foot freshman from Finland is leading the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding.

Champion: Butler.

 NIT Tip-off in Brooklyn (Thursday-Friday)

First round: Temple-Florida State, Illinois-West Virginia.

Final I want to see: Florida State-West Virginia.

Player I want to see: Jonathan Isaac, Florida State. Yet another 7-foot freshman.

Joe Sullivan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GlobeSullivan