By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
THE brackets have been released for the inaugural Islands of the Bahamas Showcase and a stacked field of recent NCAA Tournament participants are slated to compete.
Eight elite mid-major NCAA Division programmes will participate in the early season tournament at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium November 17-19.
Participating teams include the Bradley Braves, Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, Iona Gaels, Northern Kentucky Norsemen, Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners, Vermont Catamounts, Weber State Wildcats and James Madison Dukes.
Vermont and Bradley will tip off play at 11am on opening day, November 17. They will be followed by Coastal Carolina and Texas-San Antonio at 2pm, Northern Kentucky and James Madison at 5pm and concludes with Iona and Weber State at 8pm.
Consolation games will be played Saturday, Nov. 18 at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. followed by the semifinals at 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm. Sunday's championship game will be at 8:00 pm.
Iona, Northern Kentucky and Vermont headline the field and were NCAA Tournament teams in 2017.
All-session passes are now on sale at www.thebahamasshowcase.com
We are excited to partner with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, National Sports Authority and Bahamas Basketball Federation to bring this tournament to Nassau," said bd Global president Brooks Downing. "The participating teams and travelling fans will be blown away by the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, our official tournament headquarters, and the vibrant blue waters on Cable Beach. The action on the court will be tremendous given this field includes five teams that won 20 games last season and numerous conference champs."
Bd Global, an event management and public relations firm, has become one of the largest providers of college basketball content in the United States and its previous work in the Bahamas has included two new Web.com Tour events. Last January, they opened the tour with The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay which was played January 8-11 followed by The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at The Abaco Club on Winding Bay on January 22-25.
According to its website, bd Global's primary focus has been largely in NCAA Division I men's and women's basketball. Last season alone, its tournaments ranged from the first college basketball game at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (Duke vs. UNLV), to neutral-site tournaments, to round-robin events held at home sites. In the next six weeks, bdG has contracted 12 basketball events that feature 68 NCAA Division I teams playing a total of 127 games. bdG has established an impressive list of clients, including Nike, Gatorade, Bayer, Novartis, Papa John's, and MGM Resorts International, among others. With an intense focus on charity through all of its event relationships, bdG continues to work closely with Coaches vs. Cancer, Play4Kay and the Lee Memorial Children's Hospital in Southwest Florida.
The Bahamas currently hosts the Bahamas Basketball Federation's Summer of Thunder Series, the Battle 4 Atlantis and the Junkanoo Jam.