Tuesday, March 21, 2000
plans to play UCLA
Fewer tournaments and theBy Pat Bigold
University of Nevada also are
expected to be on next
The University of Hawaii men's basketball team would host only three tournaments, play three single-game dates, and travel to face UCLA in nonconference play next season.
That's how the tentative schedule put together by Rainbows associate head coach Bob Nash looks right now.
The Rainbows (17-12) will keep the United Airlines Tip-off Tournament, the Nike Festival and the Rainbow Classic while dropping the PepsiOne/Nextel Challenge and the Hawaii Invitational.
Instead of the 13 nonconference games Hawaii played between Nov. 19 and Dec. 30, 1999, the Rainbows will play only 11 next season.
That's because the addition of the University of Nevada will increase the Western Athletic Conference schedule from 14 to 16 games.
There will be another road game in December, this time against the Bruins (21-11), who are still alive and preparing for Iowa State in the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament.
The Rainbows will play at UCLA on Dec. 9.
Hawaii will open its season Nov. 19 against Louisiana Tech, a Sun Belt team that went 20-7 this season.
In the United Airlines tournament on Nov. 24 and 26, the invited teams are Arkansas State (10-17), another Sun Belt member; San Diego (19-8) of the West Coast Conference, and Elon College (13-15), which finished third in the Big South.
On Dec. 3, Hawaii will host Texas Pan American (12-16), an independent.
In the Nike Festival, scheduled for Dec. 21-23, the invited teams are Alabama-Birmingham (14-13) of Conference USA; Loyola Marymount (2-25) of the West Coast Conference, and Big West member Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (10-18).
Nash said one team is needed to round out the Rainbow Classic field, scheduled for Dec. 27-30.
Boston College (11-18) of the Big East has declined and will be playing in Greece.
But Nash might try to lure Massachusetts (15-14) of the Atlantic 10. The Minutemen recently retained head coach James "Bruiser" Flint, who has compiled a 71-56 record with two trips to the NCAA tournament and one to the NIT since succeeding John Calipari.
The current invitees to the Rainbow Classic are Tennessee (26-6), an SEC team headed to the Sweet Sixteen; St. Louis (19-14) of Conference USA; Texas A&M (8-19) of the Big 12; Detroit (18-11) of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference; Manhattan (12-14) of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, and the Big Ten's Iowa (13-15).
The past season's nonconference schedule, in which the Rainbows went 11-2, was criticized as soft.
But Nash pointed out that four of the teams scheduled by Hawaii went to the NCAA tournament (Jackson State, Gonzaga, Creighton, Oregon) and four others went to the NIT (Bowling Green, Colorado, Villanova, Wake Forest).
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