March 31, 2009
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech is one of seven teams in the field announced Tuesday who will play in the 2009 O’Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off, to be held Nov. 19-22 at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico, in the cosmopolitan Hato Rey district of San Juan.
ESPN Regional Television, Inc. (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN, announced seven of the eight teams for the third annual event, which includes UAB, Dayton, George Mason, Indiana, Kansas State and 2009 Final Four participant Villanova. The eighth team will be announced at a later date.
It will be the Yellow Jackets’ third tournament off the mainland United States in the last four years, and in a bit of fortunate scheduling, the event occurs during an off-week for Tech’s football team.
“A strong non-conference schedule is very important to the success of our program,” said Tech head coach Paul Hewitt. “Playing in this tournament gives us an opportunity to play three great games during the early part of our 2009-10 schedule, and we’re excited to be a part of this event.”
Five of the seven teams announced reached the postseason this year. Villanova and Dayton played in the 2009 NCAA Tournament, with the Flyers advancing to the second round and the Wildcats reaching the Final Four. UAB, George Mason and Kansas State played in the National Invitation Tournament. Pairings will be announced at a later date.
Georgia Tech has prior series histories with three of the other six teams announced Tuesday, having faced Dayton once, Indiana twice and Villanova three times. The Jackets have never faced George Mason, Kansas State or UAB.
“With the announcement this year’s field, we couldn’t be more thrilled with the continued quality of this event,” said Pete Derzis, senior vice president and general manager, ESPN Regional Television. “Coming off of last year’s event that placed five teams in the NCAA Tournament and one in the NIT, the O’Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off is quickly being recognized as one the premier events in college basketball.”
The 2009 O’Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off, a bracket-format tournament, will feature 12 games in three days, Nov. 19 -22. Each team will compete in one game per day, advancing through a bracket-tournament format. The two teams that remain undefeated throughout will face off in a championship match Sunday, Nov. 22.
In November, Xavier took home the 2008 Puerto Rico Tip-Off trophy, defeating Memphis 63-58 in the championship game. Both teams went on to be nationally ranked in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Top 25 poll throughout most of the 2008-09 season, with Memphis finishing the regular season ranked No. 2. Xavier will appear in the 2009 Old Spice Classic.
In 2007, the Miami Hurricanes won the inaugural O’Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Additional information, including travel packages, can be found on the O’Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off Web site.
ESPN Regional Television/Event Ownership The nation’s largest syndicator of collegiate sports programming, ESPN Regional Television (ERT) annually produces more than 1,000 telecasts of sporting events. Programming includes football, basketball, NCAA events, golf and NHRA events accounting for more than 2,200 live and/or original hours of programming. In addition to event ownership, ERT is the production headquarters for ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network; syndication rights-holder and producer of national, regional and local shows for college conferences (e.g. – SEC, BIG EAST, Big 12, Mid-American, Sun Belt, WAC).
ESPN Regional Television markets and/or owns several sporting events, including collegiate football events: the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth, Texas); New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Papajohns.com Bowl (Birmingham, Ala.); Las Vegas Bowl; Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); St. Petersburg Bowl; the MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney (Orlando, Fla.) ; and The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards; collegiate basketball events: the 76 Classic (Anaheim, Calif.); Charleston Classic (S.C.); Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Old Spice Classic (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); O’Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan); O’Reilly Auto Parts All-College Classic (Oklahoma City); SEC/BIG EAST Invitational; and the ESPNU BracketBusters; as well as the ESPN National Golf Challenge presented by Callaway. For more information, visit ESPNPlus.com.