The Jumpman Invitational begins this week in Charlotte.
What’s happening: The inaugural college basketball tournament tips off Dec. 20 at 7pm at the Spectrum Center with some of the biggest names in college basketball.
Why it matters: It’s the middle of a busy month for Charlotte Sports Foundation (CSF). They’re known for putting on signature events that create economic impact for Charlotte. After this, they’ll dive right into the Duke’s Mayo Bowl at Bank of America Stadium with Maryland and N.C. State.
Here are 5 things to know before the games begin:
1. This is the inaugural Jumpman Invitational
Jordan Brand and CSF signed a three-year deal during the summer of 2021.
- The participating schools, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and Oklahoma, were the first to sign Jordan Brand deals for basketball and football.
2. It’s men’s and women’s basketball
Women’s basketball has long been given inadequate resources, an issue that came to a head during the 2021 NCAA tournament. Steps are being taken to create equitable spaces, including at the Jumpman Invitational.
- “Our whole emphasis was for both men and women to have an equal experience, but an elevated equal experience,” CSF President Danny Morrison told Axios.
3. How to watch
It runs Dec. 20-21. Each team will play one game.
Dec. 20: North Carolina vs. Michigan 7pm on ESPN2
Dec. 21: Oklahoma vs. Florida 9:30pm on ESPN2
Dec. 20: Oklahoma vs. Florida 9:30pm on ESPN2
Dec. 21: North Carolina vs. Michigan 7pm on ESPN
CSF sold out of their inventory of tickets, but some tickets are still available on the secondary market.
- Tickets for North Carolina vs. Michigan, for instance, start at $52 on SeatGeek.
- The average resale ticket price across the entire Jumpman tournament is $136, per SeatGeek spokesperson Jenna McKernan. By comparison, the average resale ticket price as $166 for the Continental Tire Main Event tournament last month in Las Vegas.
- For a venue comparison, the average resale ticket price for a Hornets home game this season is $129.
5. For a cause
Twenty-three local middle school students with the Carolina Youth Coalition designed warm up shirts for each team during an eight-week program with Jordan Brand Wings, which is a mentorship program. Students worked with Jordan Brand designers and professional artists to learn the ins and outs of design to create shirts inspired by the following themes for each program:
- Legacy for North Carolina.
- Boomer Sooner for Oklahoma.
- Legendary for Michigan.
- Resilience for Florida.
Bonus: Wednesday’s game is giving us 1993 flashbacks. Do you remember Michigan’s Fab Five? They lost to North Carolina in 1993 in the NCAA tournament final because of Chris Webber’s infamous timeout in the final seconds of the game, which Michigan didn’t have.
Take a look at the court: