The Las Vegas Invitational women’s college basketball tournament was a joke

The image of the women's college basketball tournament in Las Vegas provided a court and almost nothing else

Photo: Getty Images

Apparently, Ja Rule was called on for advice on putting together a college basketball tournament because, like Fyre Fest, this Thanksgiving tournament was not what it was advertised to be.

The Las Vegas Invitational featured a top-10 women’s basketball program in sixth-ranked Indiana. The Hoosiers played Auburn in the ballroom at the Mirage Hotel and Casino. From the pictures, it looked like a YMCA game masquerading as a major college basketball tournament.

According to Megan McKeown of the Big Ten Network, players were advised to bring towels from their hotel rooms because the contest provided none for the players. There were no stands around the court. Spectators watched the match in folding chairs surrounding the pitch.

During the game, an Auburn player took a big fall, and according to Auburn radio, it took 40 minutes for medical personnel to get to the scene, delaying the game for nearly an hour. ESPN’s MA Vogel reported that one of the field coordinators apologized to all participants and fans for how poorly the contest was organized. Bryce McKey was the organizer of the tournament but was not in Las Vegas for the weekend event.

The tournament was sold to Indiana with the claim that it would be similar to the Athlete’s Unlimited professional league. It was played at a convention center and went pretty well. The Las Vegas Invitational was horrible. The only similarity is that they used the same court.

Indiana and Auburn should take legal action against McKey and anyone involved in the farce of a basketball tournament. This was not a major sporting event in Division I. Tournament organizers set up a court, some hoops and some balls in the hotel ballroom and called it a college basketball game. These types of accommodations are not appropriate for a high school basketball game. Hell, even high school games have bleachers.

Instead of vacationing with their families, these women flew across the country to attend an event they put together with glue sticks and duct tape. This was not only a waste of time, but also put the participants at risk. Fortunately, the Auburn player wasn’t seriously injured, but that doesn’t make the 40 minutes it takes for medical attention to arrive for a player with a head injury to arrive.

These women’s time and well-being were not valued and it must cost the pageant organizers something. There is absolutely no way to profit from bringing Fyre Fest to college athletics.


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