June 20, 2024

K-State to Face Oregon State in Cayman Islands Classic Opener

(Courtesy of Kansas State Athletics)

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State will take on Pac-12 foe Oregon State in the first round of the 2020 Cayman Islands Classic on Monday, November 23, as tournament organizers announced the complete bracket for the since relocated tournament on Wednesday (August 5).

The fourth annual event is being moved to Niceville, Florida and Raider Arena on the campus of Northwest Florida State College due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Wildcats and Beavers will play for the sixth time in their respective histories and the first time since 2003 in the tournament’s second game on Monday, November 23 at 1:30 p.m., CT. The winner would advance to face either Atlantic 10 member La Salle or SEC foe Ole Miss on Tuesday, November 24 at 11 a.m., CT, while the two remaining teams will play later in the day on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., CT. La Salle and Ole Miss will face off in the tournament’s first game on Monday at 11 a.m., CT.

In the opposite bracket, reigning Missouri Valley Conference champion Northern Iowa and the Mountain West’s Nevada will open Monday’s evening session at 5 p.m., CT before the final game of the first day between Conference USA’s Western Kentucky and the ACC’s Miami at 7:30 p.m., CT. The two winners will play on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., CT, while the two remaining teams will play at 5 p.m., CT.

The winner of each bracket will meet in the championship game on Wednesday, November 25 at 7:30 p.m., CT. There will be three consolation games that will precede the title contest at 11 a.m., CT (seventh-place game), 1:30 p.m., CT (fifth-place game) and 5 p.m., CT (third-place game), respectively.

All the games of the Cayman Island Classic will stream live on FloHoops at www.FloHoops.com. To access the live event coverage and replays of the tournament, users must sign up to become FloPRO subscribers on FloHoops.com.

Oregon State is expected to return 10 lettermen from a squad that posted an 18-13 overall record and finished in a tie for eighth place in the Pac-12 in the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season. The Beavers are led by seventh-year head coach Wayne Tinkle, who has led the squad to 93 wins in his tenure, including at least 16 wins in each of the last three seasons. The team will be led by seniors Ethan Thompson (14.8 ppg., 4.5 apg.), Zach Reichie (7.9 ppg., 3.3 rpg.) and Alfred Hollins (5.2 ppg., 3.0 rpg.), who were all regular starters in 2019-20.

K-State has played both La Salle (2013) and Ole Miss (2016) in recent seasons. The Wildcats first met the Explorers in the 1988 NCAA Tournament and again most recently in 2016. All five meetings between K-State and Ole Miss have come since 2000, including twice in the Big 12/SEC Challenge in 2013 and 2016.

La Salle enters its second season under longtime Villanova assistant Ashley Howard, who led the Explorers to a 15-15 overall record, including a 6-12 mark in the Atlantic 10 in his inaugural season in 2019-20.

Ole Miss posted a 15-17 overall mark in 2019-20, including a 6-12 mark in the SEC, under veteran head coach Kermit Davis, who has won 438 games at Texas A&M, Idaho and Middle Tennessee State.

The tournament was originally slated for John Gray Gymnasium, just minutes away from the world-famous Seven Mile Beach in George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands are located in the western Caribbean Sea about an hour away from Miami.

Previous winners of the Cayman Islands Classic include Cincinnati (2017), Creighton (2018) and George Mason (2019). The Patriots knocked off New Mexico State, 68-64, for the 2019 title after defeating Old Dominion (60-53) and Nebraska (85-66) in the first two rounds. Other 2019 participants included Colorado State, Loyola Chicago, South Florida and Washington State.

This would be K-State’s first appearance in the Cayman Island Classic, however, the Wildcats did win the championship in their last opportunity in a tournament based in the Caribbean after defeating Eastern Kentucky (95-68), Penn (64-48) and Missouri (82-67) in the 2018 Paradise Jam in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

It will mark the second consecutive season that K-State has competed in a regular-season tournament in the Sunshine State after playing in the Fort Myers Tipoff last November in Fort Myers, Florida.

The Raider Arena is also home to the Emerald Coast Classic, which is set to run from Friday-Sunday, November 27-29 and include Florida, Illinois, Iowa State and Oregon.

Tickets for the Cayman Islands Classic will go on sale later this summer. For more information on the tournament, please visit www.caymanislandsclassic.com.