UF part of four-team barnstorming tour for 2018

Published: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 8:17 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 2:51 a.m.

The Florida men's basketball team plans to take its act on the road for a unique event in 2018.

According to an ESPN report, the Gators will be part of four-team, three-city barnstorming tour that includes Michigan State, Texas and North Carolina. The eight-day, three-city tour will include games at Madison Square Garden in New York City, the United Center in Chicago and the Staples Center in Los Angeles. It would start on Dec. 15, 2018, after UF's final exams, and would ensure the Gators of three big non-conference matchups during the 2018-19 season.

Under the format, Florida will play Texas at one location, Michigan State at another location and North Carolina at the third location.

The event was the brainchild of Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis, who has been known to come up with creative ideas to showcase college basketball (Hollis spurred the aircraft carrier game between Michigan State and North Carolina). The event is more than four years away, but it could feature three future Hall of Fame coaches (North Carolina's Roy Williams, Michigan State's Tom Izzo and Florida's Billy Donovan). The trio have combined for 15 Final Four appearances and five national championships.

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