IOWA CITY, Iowa — Game matchups for the inaugural 2017 Cayman Islands Classic were announced Thursday by tournament officials.
Eight teams will compete in the tournament, including the University of Iowa, held Nov. 20-22, at in the brand new John Gray Gymnasium, just minutes away from world famous Seven Mile Beach. Television information will be announced at a later date.
The Hawkeyes will face Louisiana in the opening game at noon (EST) followed by South Dakota State meeting Wyoming at 2:30 p.m. This will be the first ever meeting between Iowa and Louisiana.
In the first game of the evening session, Richmond plays UAB at 5 p.m. Buffalo and Cincinnati will conclude opening-day action in the final matchup starting at 7:30 p.m.
Semifinal round games are slated for 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. the following day, Tuesday, Nov. 21. Losing teams will compete in their second game Nov. 21 with tip offs at noon and 5 p.m.
The seventh-place game will open the final day of competition on Wednesday, Nov. 22 starting at noon, followed by the fifth-place game (2:30 p.m.), third-place game (5 p.m.) and title game (7:30 p.m.) to crown the Cayman Islands Classic champion.
Each of the eight teams will play one preliminary home game prior to competing in tournament play.
The Cayman Islands Classic is being sponsored by the Mountain West Conference.
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, along with eight other letterwinners.
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 nation’s top returning scorer 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.
The remainder of Iowa’s 2017-18 schedule will be released later this summer.