Conway, S. C., November 13, 2017 – The location might be different this year, but the hospitality, ocean views and exciting basketball action will be as good as ever when the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip-Off at Myrtle Beach is held this Thursday through Sunday, November 16-19.
Because of the continuing recovery in Puerto Rico from the effects of Hurricane Maria, the 11th annual tournament has been moved here to the HTC Center on the campus of Coastal Carolina University, just a few miles from Myrtle Beach.
The eight-team field consists of Appalachian State, Boise State, Illinois State, Iowa State, South Carolina, Tulsa, UTEP and Western Michigan. There will be four games each day on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, with the teams taking Saturday off to enjoy the area’s numerous attractions.
Officials with ESPN, which operates the tournament, worked with city and university officials along with the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce to finalize the move barely two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico on October 4.
“The leadership across the table here speaks volumes,” said Pete Derzis, ESPN senior vice president of college sports programming and events. “There was a great deal of confidence knowing that the leadership of this community could make it happen.”
The teams in this year’s field went a combined 7-3 over the opening weekend of the regular season, with Appalachian State and Boise State both getting off to 2-0 starts. South Carolina, UTEP and Western Michigan also posted season-opening victories.
The tournaments begins at 11:30 a.m. ET with Illinois State taking on South Carolina. The Gamecocks are fresh off of last season’s appearance in the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament. They are the fourth team in the past five years to appear in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off the season after making it to the Final Four.
The rest of the first-day schedule will see Boise State face UTEP at 2 p.m. ET, Iowa State take on Appalachian State at 5:30 ET, and Tulsa square off against Western Michigan at 8 p.m. ET.
All 12 tournament games will be broadcast on ESPN’s family of networks. The championship game is set for Sunday at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
Recent history shows that the winner of this tournament will be poised for a successful season. The Puerto Rico Tip-Off champion has advanced to at least the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament each of the past three seasons (West Virginia in 2014, Miami in 2015 and Xavier in 2016.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit espnevents.com/puerto-rico-tip-off.