THOMAS, U.S. Virgin – Washington State University men’s basketball will face 2016 NIT Tournament-participant, Creighton, in its first game of the 2016 Paradise Jam, Friday, Nov. 18 at 5:30 p.m. PST/9:30 p.m. AST (Atlantic Standard Time), at the University of the Virgin Islands at St. Thomas, Basketball Travelers, Inc., announced Friday.
The other three matchups scheduled for Nov. 18 start with the early session which begins with Loyola (Chicago) taking on Saint Joseph’s at 9:30 a.m. PST (1:30 p.m. AST), followed by Oral Roberts facing Ole Miss at noon PST (4 p.m. AST). In the second half of the bracket, Montana will take on NC State at 3 p.m. PST (7 p.m. AST), followed by WSU’s game against Creighton. Depending on the outcome of both games, the Cougars will take on either the Grizzlies of Montana or the Wolfpack of NC State. The losers of the first game will face off on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m. PST (7 p.m. AST), while the winners have a day off before meeting Sunday, Nov. 20 at 5:30 p.m. PST (9:30 p.m. AST).
The matchup between Washington State and Creighton is just the third all-time and the first since the Cougars fell to the Bluejays, 41-36, Dec. 23, 1942 on the road at Omaha, Neb. Two years prior, WSU knocked Creighton out of the NCAA Tournament in the quarterfinals with a 48-39 victory, March 21, 1941, at Kansas City, Mo. The Cougars went on to fall in the national title game that year.
Washington State has faced Montana 107 times in the two schools’ histories, holding a 79-28 advantage. The two teams last met Nov. 23, 2007. WSU and NC State have never met on the basketball court. On the other side of the bracket, WSU has never faced Loyola (Chicago) or Ole Miss, while its 0-2 against Saint Joseph’s and 2-0 against Oral Roberts. All four off those meetings came at neutral-sites in various tournaments.
The final day of competition is Monday, Nov. 21 and starts with the battle for seventh place at 9:30 p.m. PST (1:30 p.m. AST), followed by the fourth-place game at noon PST (4 p.m. AST), the third-place game at 3 p.m. PST (7 p.m. AST) and the championship game at 5:30 p.m. PST (9:30 p.m. AST).
WSU junior forward Josh Hawkinson has ties to the Paradise Jam, as his father, Nels Hawkinson, started the tournament in 2000 after visiting the Virgin Islands on vacation. The elder Hawkinson is the executive director of Basketball Travelers Inc., the company that puts on the Paradise Jam, as well as several other college and high school events, and foreign tours.
This season will mark the first time that the Cougars will participate in the Paradise Jam, as it will mark their first game at the Virgin Islands.
Paradise Jam, held annually at the University of the Virgin Islands, has become one of the premier preseason destination tournaments for men’s basketball. It is a multiple team event (MTE) tournament, counting only two of the three games against participants’ 29 allotted games. Hosted at the $11 million state-of-the-art UVI Sports and Fitness Center, Paradise Jam attracts thousands of tourists to the U.S. Virgin Islands each year, while immersing participating fans and teams in the culture and travel experience that has made the U.S. Virgin Islands one of the premier destinations in the Caribbean.
For more information on the Paradise Jam, please visit: http://paradisejam.com/.