Bracket set for Cayman Islands Classic

| 07/06/2018 | 0 Comments

CNS Local Life(CNS Local Life): Game matchups have been finalised for the second annual Cayman Islands Classic, with eight teams competing in the basketball tournament, set for 19-21 November at the John Gray High School gymnasium. Akron will face Clemson in the opening game followed by Georgia and Illinois State.

In the first game of the evening session, St Bonaventure will play Georgia State. Boise State and Creighton will conclude opening-day action in the final matchup of the day, stated a press release.

Clemson, under the guidance of coach Brad Brownell, was ranked No. 15 in the final 2017-18 USA Today coaches poll while tying a school record with a 25-10 mark, advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time since 1997.

The Tigers tied for third in the Atlantic Coast Conference this past season with a school-record of 11 league victories. For his efforts, Brownell was recognised as Sports Illustrated College Basketball Coach of the Year.

“We are extremely excited to be competing in the 2018 Cayman Island Classic with such a quality field of teams and in a destination that our players and fans will enjoy,” said Brownell. “They have done a terrific job putting together a tremendous field of experienced winning programmes which will make this event extremely competitive.”

Semifinal games are slated for the second day of the tournament, Tuesday, 20 November. Losing teams will also compete that same day.

The seventh-place game will open the final day of competition on Wednesday, 21 November 21, followed by the fifth-place game, third-place game and title game to crown the Cayman Islands Classic champion.

Creighton coach Greg McDermott said he was also looking forward to the tournament. His team posted a 21-12 record last year, finishing third in the Big East Conference, while advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in the last seven years.

“We’re excited to play in the Cayman Islands Classic and heard many positive reviews from last year’s participants,” McDermott said. “The 2018 field is a strong one, and I know our fans are looking forward to the event.”

St Bonaventure achieved a school-record 26-8 mark while advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after beating UCLA in the first four, which was the programme’s first NCAA victory since 1970. Coach Mark Schmidt is hoping playing in the Cayman Islands Classic will set the tone for another productive season for the Bonnies.

“The Bonnies are really excited to be a part of the 2018 Cayman Islands Classic in November,” said Schmidt. “This event will give us the opportunity to play three high level neutral games in an amazing location. “

Akron head coach John Groce added, “During the non-conference season we wanted to play against some of the best teams in the country and feel this tournament will accomplish that goal. I know this will be a first-class experience for our programme. We are excited to visit the Cayman Islands in November.”

The Cayman Islands Classic is being sponsored by the Mountain West Conference.

Georgia State went 24-11 this past season, while making its second NCAA Tournament appearance in the last four years under head coach Ron Hunter. The Panthers won the Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship after finishing runner-up during the regular season.

Boise State went 23-9 last season, while playing in the NIT. The Broncos finished second in the Mountain West Conference with a 13-5 record. Georgia, welcoming new coach Tom Crean, was 18-15 overall last year. Illinois State also went 18-15 this past season, including a 10-8 mark in the Missouri Valley Conference. Akron, which plays in the Mid-American Conference, was 14-18 last season.

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Category: Basketball, Sports

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