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Tech to Open 2019 Diamond Head Classic vs. Boise State

THE FLATS  –  Georgia Tech and Boise State will meet for the first time on the basketball court Dec. 22 when the two teams face off in the opening round of the 2019 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu, Hawai’i. The Yellow Jackets are in the same half of the bracket with Houston and Portland, potential second-round opponents. Ball State, Hawai’i, UTEP and Washington are on the other side of the bracket and are potential final-round foes for the Jackets.

ESPN Events unveiled the matchups Thursday for the 2019 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic to be held Dec. 22, 23 and 25 at the Stan Sheriff Center on the campus of the University of Hawai’i. The tournament will feature eight teams, with 12 games played over three days. The Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, which enters its 11th year, features five first-time participants, highlighted by 2019 NCAA Tournament teams Houston and Washington.

Also part of the Diamond Head Classic for the Yellow Jackets is a non-bracketed home game against Ball State, another first-time opponent for Tech, on Dec. 18 at McCamish Pavilion.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of this event and give our team a great opportunity to compete against some high-caliber opposition, not to mention the chance to spend some time in an exotic locale,” said Tech head coach Josh Pastner. “As we continue to build our program, we also want to have a high quality of competition to prepare us for the Atlantic Coast Conference season.”

  • With eight letterwinners returning, first-time tournament participant Ball State hopes a summer tour of Costa Rica serves as a springboard for the 2019-20 season. First-time meeting for Tech.
  • After reaching the finals of the 2013 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, Boise State looks to make another run behind senior guard Justinian Jessup who led the team last year in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. First-time meeting for Tech.
  • Georgia Tech returns eight of its top 11 players from last year’s squad that posted the program’s highest Atlantic Coast Conference finish since 2013.
  • Tournament host Hawai’i seeks its first Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic title yet is always dangerous as evidenced by a pair of upsets over Pac-12 squads last season. Tech is 2-2 all-time vs. the Rainbow Warriors.
  • Houston will be a tournament favorite as it boasts back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2019. Tech is 3-0 all-time vs. the Cougars, including a first-round victory in the 2016 Postseason NIT.
  • Portland head coach Terry Porter, a 17-year NBA veteran and two-time all-star, returns three starters and all five frontcourt players entering his fourth season at the helm of the Pilots. Tech and Portland have never met in basketball.
  • UTEP will make its second Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic appearance and will do so with a revamped roster that features six transfers from across the country. Tech is 1-2 all-time vs. the Miners, last meeting in 2010.
  • Washington is coming off a memorable season that saw them win 27 games, claim the Pac-12 regular-season title and advance to NCAA Second Round. Tech is 2-1 all-time vs. the Huskies, last meeting in 1999.


DateTime (Hawai’i time)MatchupNetwork
Sun, Dec 2210:00 a.m.Houston vs PortlandESPNU
 12:00 p.m.Georgia Tech vs Boise StateESPNU
 4:30 p.m.UTEP vs WashingtonESPN2
 6:30 p.m.Ball State vs Hawai’iESPN2
Mon, Dec 2311:30 a.m.Semifinal #1ESPNU
 2:00 p.m.Consolation #1ESPN2
 6:00 p.m.Semifinal #2ESPNU
 8:30 p.m.Consolation #2ESPN2
Wed, Dec 258:30 a.m. or 10:30 a.m.7th Place GameESPNU
 8:30 a.m. or 10:30 a.m.5th Place GameESPNU
 1:30 p.m.3rd Place GameESPN2
 3:30 p.m.ChampionshipESPN2

Non-Bracketed Game: Ball State at Georgia Tech (December 18)

Tech returns to Hawai’i for the first time since 2006, when freshman Thaddeus Young and the Yellow Jackets finished runner-up at the Maui Invitational.


Tech has a 10-5 record all time in four previous tournament events in Hawai’i, including a 6-3 mark in three appearances in the Rainbow Classic – 1984 champions, 1988, 1994 – which also were held at the University of Hawai’i. The Yellow Jackets also played in the 1998 Big Island Classic in Hilo, and the 2006 Maui Invitational.

Previous tournament champions of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic include USC (2009, 2017), Butler (2010), Kansas State (2011), Arizona (2012), Iowa State (2013), George Washington (2014), Oklahoma (2015), and San Diego State (2016).

Additional information for the family-friendly tournament and resort destination of Honolulu, Hawai‘i, including travel packages, can be found on the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic web site at

ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 34 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games, the FCS opening-weekend game, 15 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events a college softball event, an esports event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 375-plus hours of live programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and Tampa, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.


The ACC Network is a linear and digital platform dedicated to 24/7 coverage of ACC sports. It will exclusively televise approximately 450 live events each year, including approximately 40 football games (beginning with Georgia Tech’s 2019 season opener at Clemson on Aug. 29), as well as 150 men’s and women’s basketball contests.

Don’t get shut out! For more information and to learn if your cable/satellite/digital provider is committed to carrying the ACC Network, visit Georgia Tech fans whose cable/satellite/digital providers aren’t already committed to carrying the ACC Network are urged to contact their providers and ask for the ACC Network to be a part of their subscription.


Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its fourth year under head coach Josh Pastner. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB) and Instagram. For more information on Tech basketball, visit

Season tickets for men’s basketball can be purchased here.


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