Diamond Head Classic match-ups announced

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - ESPN Wednesday announced first-round match-ups for the 2011 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.

The eight-team tournament is set for Thursday, Friday and Sunday, Dec. 22, 23 & 25 at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.

Hawaii will face Auburn in a first-round game Thursday, Dec. 22. In other first-round action, UTEP will take on Clemson; Kansas State will face Southern Illinois; and Long Beach State will meet Xavier.

The first four games on the opening day of action will be televised live on ESPNU and will be a part of 11 tournament games broadcast on ESPN networks. The third-place and championship games will be televised on ESPN2 on Christmas Day.

"We anticipate an outstanding tournament with a field that includes six postseason teams from the 2010-11 season," said David Matlin, executive director of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic. "Having 11 of the 12 games televised is a testament to the quality of this year's field and reflects the growth of the tournament as it enters its third year."

Postseason teams from the 2011 field include three that earned NCAA Championship berths in Clemson, Kansas State and Xavier and two NIT squads in Long Beach State and UTEP.

Hawai'i, which is guaranteed to play on national television during all three tournament dates, will face either Long Beach State or Xavier on the second day. Each team will compete in one game per day, advancing through a bracket-tournament format. The two teams that remain undefeated will face off in a championship game on Christmas Day, Dec. 25.

The Rainbow Warriors placed fifth in the 2010 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic after going 2-1.

Butler, the NCAA Championship runner-up the last two seasons, claimed the 2010 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic. USC took home the inaugural tournament championship in 2009.

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.