C.I. Basketball Classic bracket revealed

U.S. college basketball teams travelling to Grand Cayman later this year now know who they will play in the opening round of the Cayman Islands Classic. The draw for the 20-22 November tournament was announced Thursday, 15 June 2017.

The eight-team tournament sponsored by the Mountain West Conference will be played at the newly-completed John Gray High School Gymnasium in George Town.

The JGHS gym was ready in time for exams. Photo courtesy: Scott Swing.

The Iowa Hawkeyes and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns tip things off at noon on Monday, 20 November, followed by South Dakota State Jack Rabbits versus University of Wyoming Cowboys at 2:30 p.m.

In the evening session of day one, the University of Richmond Spiders plays University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Blazers at 5:00 p.m. The University of Buffalo Bulls and the University of Cincinnati Bearcats end the opening day with a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.

The semi-finals are scheduled for 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. of the second day, Tuesday, 21 November. Losing teams will compete in their second game on day two with tip offs at noon and 5:00 p.m.

The seventh-place game will open the final day of competition on Wednesday, 22 November starting at noon, followed by the fifth-place game (2:30 p.m.), third-place game (5:00 p.m.) and title game (7:30 p.m.). See full bracket below.

Five of the teams competed in postseason play in 2017 with Cincinnati, and South Dakota State advancing to the NCAA Tournament, while Iowa and Richmond participated in the NIT.

Wyoming went 23-15 last season en route to winning the College Basketball Invitational – the school’s first major postseason title since winning the 1943 NCAA Championship.

Cincinnati was ranked No. 18 in the final 2017 Associated Press poll, posting a 30-6 record while making its seventh straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Iowa had a 19-15 record, advancing to the second round of the 2017 NIT. The Hawkeyes return four starters from last year’s squad.

South Dakota State, which plays in the Summit League, made its fourth appearance in the last seven years (2012, 2013, 2016) in the 2017 NCAA Tournament facing eventual national runner-up Gonzaga. The Jackrabbits will feature the top returning scorer in US men’s collegiate basketball in 6’9” forward Mike Daum, who averaged 25.1 points.

Richmond, a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, posted a 22-12 record last season while advancing to the quarterfinal round of the 2017 NIT.

UAB owned a 17-16 mark last season. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, which competes in the West Division of the Sun Belt Conference, had a 21-12 record last season.

Buffalo went 17-15 last year. The Bulls captured its first outright Mid-American Conference championship in 2015, while advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.

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