With the way the Christmas Holiday falls on the calendar, the basketball calendar includes an extra week of games not normally available in December.  There are a few games sprinkled across the state and we’ll preview the top games in another story tomorrow but several big schools head outside the state to complete in national tournaments.
On the boys’ side, five Colorado teams head to Las Vegas to take part in the annual Tarkanian Classic.  That tournament gets underway on Wednesday and runs through Saturday.
#3 Chaparral, #4 Denver East and #6 Grandview are three top 10 teams in Nevada.  Chaparral meets Camarillo CA and Grandview goes up against George Washington Carver AL in first round games on Wednesday.  #4 Denver East waits until Thursday to open the event as they meet Desert Pines NV.
Overland and Valor Christian are also in the field and both play first round games on Wednesday.  The Blazers meet Bishop Gorman NV and Valor plays Oak Ridge CA.
Three girls’ basketball teams also compete at the Tarkanian Classic including #4 Valor Christian (4A) and #6 Castle View (5A).  They open on Wednesday against Bingham UT and Bishop Gorman NV respectively.  Denver East meets Prestonwood Christian TX that same night.
Phoenix is again the locale for the prestigious Nike Tournament of Champions event that features most of the top ten girls’ basketball teams from across the country.  #1 Highlands Ranch, #3 Grandview, #7 Horizon and #9 Cherry Creek are in the various brackets and those Colorado ranked teams are joined by in-state rivals ThunderRidge and Chaparral.
Highlands Ranch and Cherry Creek are involved in the same Mike Desper Bracket so they could face off later in the week.  The Falcons face La Salle Prep OH and the Burins Lake Highland Prep FL in their openers on Tuesday.
Horizon and ThunderRidge compete in the Derrill Kipp Bracket and first round games are also on Tuesday.  Horizon challenges St Francis PA and ThunderRidge takes on Huntington Beach CA.
Grandview is in the Joe Smith Bracket.  The Wolves open Tuesday against St Johns College DC.
Chaparral is the lone Colorado team in the Dan Wiley Bracket.  The Wolverines open their tournament against Corona Centennial CA on Tuesday.
Fairview opens play today at the KSA Classic in Orlando FL.  The Knights tangle with Signal Mountain TN in their first-round contest and then will face Nixa MO on Tuesday.  The Wednesday opponent is Ambridge PA.
The lone boys’ basketball tournament in-state is hosted by Cherry Creek.  The Bruins host their annual Holiday Classic on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Their first-round opponent is Pine Creek.  Other first-round games on Thursday feature Legend vs Broomfield, Fossil Ridge vs Thomas Jefferson and Fountain Fort Carson vs Mountain Vista.  The championship is set for 2:30pm on Saturday.