The Kansas men’s basketball program is headed to Disney World for Thanksgiving.
KU announced on Thursday that the Jayhawks are one of eight teams who will play in the 2021 ESPN Events Invitational — previously known as the Orlando Invitational — on Nov. 25-28 at HP Field House at ESPN World of Sports near Orlando.
KU played in, and won, the event in 2014, knocking off Michigan State in the championship game.
Pairings for the event have not yet been released, but the Jayhawks will be joined at the tourney by Alabama, Belmont, Dayton, Drake, Iona, Miami (Fla.) and North Texas.
The tournament will feature a bracket format with 12 games over three days. Each team will compete in one game per day regardless of results. A full bracket and schedule of games will be made available at a later date.
Of the eight teams in the field, five reached the 2021 NCAA Tournament and three (No. 5 KU, No. 8 Alabama and No. 23 Belmont) are ranked in ESPN.com’s “Way Too Early Top 25.”
Kansas coach Bill Self will be taking a team to the event that features 10 newcomers — five transfers and five from the prep ranks, including one preferred walk-on.
While that figures to give the Jayhawks a new look for the 2021-22 season, KU also will be returning several familiar faces in 2020-21 starters Christian Braun and David McCormack, along with reserves Dajuan Harris and Mitch Lightfoot.
Fellow-starters Ochai Agbaji and Jalen Wilson, along with new commitment Remy Martin, an Arizona State transfer, are currently testing their NBA draft status and may or may not be a part of the trip. That trio has until July 7 to decide whether to stay in the draft or return to KU for the 2021-22 season.
The rest of KU's non-conference schedule is expected to be released in the near future. The Big 12 slate will be released sometime in late summer.