2021 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic Team Field Revealed
The field for the 2021 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic will feature BYU (West Coast), tournament host school Hawai’i (Big West), Liberty (ASUN), Northern Iowa (MVC), South Florida (American), Stanford (Pac-12), Vanderbilt (SEC) and Wyoming (Mountain West). The 12th edition will be played at the SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, on December 22, 23 and 25.
Two teams in the 2021 field were a part of the NCAA postseason last season – BYU and Liberty. The field also includes two returning Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic participants – BYU (2015) and Northern Iowa (2015).
- BYU has gone 44-15 overall in the last two seasons under head coach Mark Pope. He led the Cougars to the NCAA Tournament last year after 20 wins and a near-upset of top-ranked Gonzaga in the WCC Tournament finals.
- Tournament host, Hawaiʻi finished with a winning record for the fifth time in six seasons under head coach Eran Ganot, who picked up his 100th career coaching victory this past season.
- Liberty has won three straight ASUN regular season and tournament titles and boast back-to-back conference player of the year awards, including last year’s winner Darius McGhee.
- Four-time MVC Coach of the Year Ben Jacobson leads a Northern Iowa squad that has made four NCAA Tournaments and one Sweet 16 appearance during his tenure.
- South Florida is led by veteran head coach Brian Gregory who owns more than 300 career wins. In 2019, Gregory led the team to the best turnaround in the NCAA with a single-season school record 24 wins and the College Basketball Invitational championship.
- Stanford returns a strong team in 2021-22, led by Pac-12 Most Improved Player Jaiden Delaire, sharpshooter Spencer Jones, and point guard Michael O’Connell.
- Vanderbilt is the only school in the nation with NBA Draft lottery picks in each of the last two years, and this year will welcome a pair of incoming freshmen to the squad, Peyton Daniels and Gabe Dorsey.
- Wyoming returns a majority of players from the 2020-21 team that finished 14- Among its wins was a road upset of eventual Pac-12 champion and NCAA Elite 8 squad Oregon State.
Each team will compete in one game per day, advancing through the bracket over three days for a total of 12 games. 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), San Diego State (2016), TCU (2018) and Houston (2019).
Tickets are expected to go on sale in October. Additional information for the family-friendly tournament and resort destination of Honolulu, Hawai‘i, can be found on the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic web site at hawaiianairlinesdiamondheadclassic.com.
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