The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team will be spending part of their November in the Caribbean.
The Colonels are one of eight teams selected to play in the 2018 U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam, held at the UVI Sports and Fitness Center in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
After hosting Midway College in an opening round game of the tournament on Tuesday, November 13, in Richmond, EKU will travel to St. Thomas to play Kansas State on Friday, November 16, at 7:30 p.m. ET (8:30 p.m. local time).
K-State won 25 games and knocked off Kentucky to advance to the NCAA Elite Eight last season. The Wildcats are expected to return 11 players, including all six players who earned starts in 2017-18.
It will be the fourth meeting between Eastern Kentucky and Kansas State, and the first since 1972. EKU leads the all-time series, 2-1, with wins over KSU in 1945 and 1948. The Wildcats defeated the Colonels in Manhattan, Kansas in the second game of the 1972-73 season.
The winner of Friday’s game would advance to play either Missouri Valley Conference member Northern Iowa or defending Ivy League co-champion and NCAA Tournament participant Penn on Saturday, November 17, at 7:30 p.m. ET (8:30 p.m. local time), while the two remaining teams would play earlier in the day on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. ET (6:00 p.m. local time).
In the opposite bracket, the Pac-12’s Oregon State and Conference USA’s Old Dominion will open the tournament on Friday at 1:00 p.m. ET (2:00 p.m. local time) before the second game between 2018 NCAA Tournament participant Missouri and Atlantic Sun member Kennesaw State at 3:00 p.m. ET (4:00 p.m. local time). The matchup between Northern Iowa and Penn will tip on Friday at 5:30 p.m. ET (6:30 p.m. local time).
The winner of each bracket will face off in the championship game on Monday, November 19, at 7:30 p.m. ET (8:30 p.m. local time). There will be three consolation games that will precede the title contest at 1:00 p.m. ET (2:00 p.m. local time; seventh-place game), 3:00 p.m. ET (4:00 p.m. local time; fourth-place game) and 5:30 p.m. ET (6:30 p.m. local time; third-place game), respectively.
All the games of the Paradise Jam will stream live on FloHoops at www.FloHoops.com. To access the live event coverage and replays of the tournament, users must sign up to become FloPRO subscribers on FloHoops.com.
Tournament directors are in the process of evaluating the feasibility of offering official fan travel packages for the 2018 Paradise Jam. More information will be made available in the future.
This is EKU’s second all-time appearance in the Paradise Jam. The Colonels competed in the 2005 edition of the tournament, losing to Wisconsin (a 95-89 double-overtime thriller) and Georgia (76-68) and defeating Norfolk State (67-60).
EKU will be led in the Virgin Islands by first-year head coach A.W. Hamilton, who took over the program on March 23.
The Colonels are expected to return eight lettermen from last season, including senior forward Nick Mayo, a three-time first team All-Ohio Valley Conference performer. Mayo averaged 18.0 points and 6.7 rebounds-per-game in 2017-18.
The remainder of EKU’s 2018-19 schedule will be released later this summer.
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Associate Director of EKUSports Communications