THE FLATS – Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team will make the fifth trip to the state of Hawai’i in program history next December when it will compete in the 2019 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu, Hawai’i.
The field for the 2019 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic will feature Ball State (Mid-American), Boise State (Mountain West), Georgia Tech (ACC), tournament host school Hawai’i (Big West), Houston (AAC), Portland (WCC), UTEP (Conference USA), and Washington (Pac-12). The 11th annual event will be played at the Stan Sheriff Center on the campus of the University of Hawai’i. Dates and times will be announced at a later date.
“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.”
Three teams in the 2019 field were a part of the postseason last season – Boise State (NIT), Houston (NCAA) and Washington (NIT). Meanwhile, five teams will make their first-ever appearance in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.
- Ball State has earned a share of the Mid-American Conference West Division title two of the last three years.
- Boise State was selected to the 2018 Postseason NIT after reaching the 20-win mark for the sixth consecutive season.
- Georgia Tech has advanced to the postseason two of the last three seasons.
- Hawai‘i will host the tournament for the 11th straight year.
- Houston advanced to the second round of the 2018 NCAA Championship as a No. 6 seed.
- Portland makes its first appearance in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, becoming the sixth member of the West Coast Conference to participate in the event.
- UTEP will make its second appearance in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (2011).
- Washington earned a berth in the 2018 Postseason NIT after posting a 20-win season in Coach Mike Hopkins’ first year.
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.
The Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, an eight-team men’s college basketball tournament, will feature 12 games through three days. Each team will compete in one game per day, advancing through the bracket. The two teams that remain undefeated throughout will face off in the championship game on the final day of the tournament.
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 hawaiianairlinesdiamondheadclassic.com.
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 32 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 15 college bowl games, 10 college basketball events, a college softball 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.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its third 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.