The post-season has started for the participants in the 2017 Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off as the eight schools have compiled a 158-89 record to date (64 percent winning percentage) with five teams posting winning records, including four squads with 20 or more wins for the 2016-2017 season.
Illinois State (27-6) was the first Puerto Rico participant to play in the post-season as the Redbirds tied for the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title with Wichita State as both teams posted 17-1 league marks. Seeded first in the post-season tournament in St. Louis this past weekend, Illinois State won two of three games and dropped the title game 71-51 to Wichita State Sunday.
In his fifth-season at the school, Redbird coach Dan Muller has steadily built program as Illinois State has finished sixth, fifth, tied for third, tied for second and tied for first in the Missouri Valley regular-season standings in his five seasons. Illinois State has a 103-64 record under Muller.
Western Michigan (15-15) has won nine of their last 10 games, including eight-straight wins, to enter Monday’s opening game in the Mid-American Conference post-season against Miami of Ohio. If the Broncos can post a home victory Monday, the Broncos would play Ball State Thursday afternoon in Cleveland.
Here is the post-season schedule for the other six schools participating in the 2017 Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Scheduled for November 16, 17 and 19 in San Juan, the three-day, 12-game bracketed in-season tournament will be played at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente.
- Tulsa (14-16) plays Tulane in the American Athletic Conference post-season tournament starting Thursday in Hartford with the winner playing Cincinnati in the quarter-final Friday.
- Florida State (24-7) opens Atlantic Coast Conference action Thursday in Brooklyn in a quarter-final match against Boston College, Virginia Tech or Wake Forest. BC and Wake open ACC play Tuesday with the winner meeting Virginia Tech in the second-round Wednesday.
- Iowa State (20-10) begins Big 12 Conference play Thursday in Kansas City against Oklahoma State in a quarter-final game. The Cyclones and Cowboys are on the same side of the bracket as top-seeded Kansas.
- UTEP (14-16), which has won 12 of its last 15 games, opens Conference USA post-season play in Birmingham against the winner of the Southern Miss/Rice game.
- Boise State (19-10) will played either San Diego State or UNLV in a Mountain West Conference quarter-final game Thursday in Las Vegas.
- South Carolina (22-9) earned a spot in the quarter-finals of the Southeastern Conference tournament in Nashville where the Gamecocks will play either Alabama, LSU or Mississippi State. In a SEC opening game Wednesday, LSU and Mississippi State meet with the victor challenging Alabama Thursday.
Five of the eight coaches scheduled to lead their schools in the 2017 Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off have previously mentored teams in the San Juan event. Tulsa coach Frank Haith led Miami to the 2007 title. Other coaches with experience in the tournament are Leonard Hamilton of Florida State, Frank Martin of South Carolina, Tim Floyd of UTEP and Steve Hawkins of Western Michigan.
Hamilton and Hawkins coached their schools in Puerto Rico in 2013 (third-place) and 2011 (eighth-place), respectively. Martin led Kansas State to a third-place finish in 2009 while Floyd’s Southern California team finished sixth in 2008.