For the third-annual Thanksgiving at Estero’s Germain Arena, Southwest Florida college basketball fans will be able to feast on more than just home cooked meals and family festivities—able to tune into live, early-season nonconference basketball.
Both the men and women’s participants—namely Murray State on the men’s side and the Dayton Lady Flyers and the Stanford Cardinal on the women’s side—will highlight a jam-packed field that encompasses a winning pedigree. The featured Racers of the Ohio Valley Conference most notably strung together 25 consecutive victories last season, while the Lady Flyers were ousted by the defending Gulf Coast Showcase Champions, UConn, in last year’s Women’s NCAA Tournament Elite Eight.
Where full stomachs and NFL football pervade Thanksgiving holiday traditions, the top-notch college basketball that will be on display doesn’t include any slouches. In fact, the women’s total crop of talent may just include the best there is nationally.
ESPN analyst and Gulf Coast Showcase Tournament host, Debbie Antonelli, said, “This tournament will mirror an NCAA regional this season.” That sentiment alone, in itself, is worth flocking to the arena seats for—aided by the two-sided platform.
The men’s showcase will pit eight teams up against one another over three days, including 12 games from Monday to Wednesday, November 23-25, as follows:
Murray State vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee | 12:00 p.m. ET | Germain Arena
Pepperdine vs. Duquesne | 2:30 p.m. ET | Germain Arena
Western Kentucky vs. Drake | 6:00 p.m. ET | Germain Arena
Central Michigan vs. Weber State | 8:30 p.m. ET | Germain Arena
*Game times for Tuesday and Wednesday will remain the same as above with the semifinal games, the 24th, to be played at 6:00 and 8:30, and the championship game, the 25th, to be played at 8:30 p.m. accordingly.
As for the women’s bracket, which will tip after a day off on Thanksgiving Day, this side of the anticipated tournament will be played Friday to Sunday, November 27-29. The opening round will debut this year’s field, as follows:
Dayton vs. Maine | 11:00 a.m. ET | Germain Arena
Stanford vs. Missouri State | 1:30 p.m. ET | Germain Arena
Louisville vs. Marist | 5:00 p.m. ET | Germain Arena
LSU vs. Purdue | 7:30 p.m. ET | Germain Arena
*The game times for Saturday’s semifinal match ups is set for 5:00 and 7:30, the 28th, and Sunday’s championship game, the 29th, will also be played at 7:30 p.m. accordingly.
For more information on the Gulf Coast Showcase, please visit www.gulfcoastshowcase.com or follow on Twitter at @GCShowcase for up-to-date news regarding the Thanksgiving week tournament.
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