The University of Hawai'i released its 2016-17 men's basketball schedule which features 19 home games at the Stan Sheriff Center. This year's non-conference schedule is highlighted by a home matchup with North Carolina and a trio of tournaments in the Outrigger Rainbow Classic, the Pearl Harbor Invitational and the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.
The Outrigger Rainbow Classic officially opens UH's 2016-17 season. The 'Bows will tip the season off Nov. 11 against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville in a round-robin tournament which also includes Texas State and Florida Atlantic. It will be the 52nd edition of the tournament and 21st under the sponsorship of Outrigger Hotels and Resorts.
Following the Outrigger Rainbow Classic, UH will host 2016 NCAA Championship runner-up North Carolina on Nov. 18 in a game presented by Outrigger Hotels and Resorts. UH last hosted the Tar Heels in 1994, during the inaugural season of the Stan Sheriff Center.
"When our fans hear Outrigger Rainbow Classic they know that it's the start of the college basketball season" head coach Eran Ganot said. "And the fact that we have North Carolina also coming early in the season makes it even more exciting. We're extremely grateful for Outrigger's continued support and look forward to finally getting our team out on the court after all their hard work during the off-season."
Other single-game, non-conference home contests this season include UH Hilo (Nov. 22), Troy (Nov. 25), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Nov. 27) and Delaware State (Dec. 29).
As previously announced, UH will participate in a unique and meaningful event when they lace it up for the Pearl Harbor Invitational at historic Bloch Arena on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Games versus Seton Hall (Dec. 6) and Princeton (Dec. 7) will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Christmas week brings the eight annual Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Dec. 22-23, 25). Five teams in the field made the postseason last year, including San Diego State, Stephen F. Austin, Tulsa, Utah and UH. The Rainbow Warriors open the Classic versus Illinois State in the night cap on December 22.
"Each year we focus on a balance between competition, national TV appearances, and special opportunities and experiences for our student-athletes—such as the Pearl Harbor Invitational," Ganot said. "I believe we've achieved that with this year's non-conference schedule."
In January, UH will begin defense of its Big West Conference regular-season title with a 16-game league schedule. The 'Bows will open on the road with a pair of games at Cal State Fullerton (Jan. 5) and UC Irvine (Jan 7) then will return home for five straight home games, beginning with a tilt against Long Beach State (Jan. 14) in a rematch of last year's Big West Tournament final.
The 'Bows will play four of its final five Big West games on the road. UH's home finale will be Feb. 25 versus Cal State Fullerton before ending the regular season on the road at UC Davis (March 2) and Long Beach State (March 4).
"The Big West has been on the rise for some time and that trend should continue," Ganot said. "We're very proud to represent such a great conference with terrific coaches and players and look forward to the challenge of this year's slate."
A total of nine newcomers join this year's squad following a historic 28-win campaign in 2015-16.
"We have a lot of new faces on this year's squad," Ganot said, "and it would be great to see the same tremendous crowds and charged atmosphere that we enjoyed last season. The Stan Sheriff Center is truly one of the best college basketball venues in the West."
Hawaii Athletics Release
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