A pair of teams slated to tip off in this fall’s Cayman Islands Classic played in the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, which culminated with Kansas beating North Carolina, 72-69, in the national championship game on April 4.
The fourth edition of the Cayman Islands Classic, one of the Caribbean’s most highly regarded preseason college basketball tournaments, is scheduled for November 21-23 at the John Gray High School gymnasium, just minutes from the iconic Seven Mile Beach.
Louisiana State and the University of Akron both took the court for the annual March tournament that attracts millions of viewers from around the globe.
“Congratulations to both the LSU Tigers and Akron Zips for making the NCAA Tournament,” Caymax Sports Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Joe Wright said. “Their performances this season underscore the quality of the 2022 Cayman Islands Classic field.”
LSU received an at-large tournament bid as the No. 6 seed in the Midwest Region. The Tigers were edged by 11th-seeded Iowa State in the first round, 59-54, finishing the season at 22-12 overall, including a sixth-place finish in the Southeastern Conference.
LSU has advanced to the NCAA Tournament in three of the last four years (the 2020 tournament was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic) and added some of the country’s top prep talent during the offseason, including five-star forward Tyrell Ward.
Akron grabbed the 13th seed in the East Region after a regular season that ended with a Mid-American Conference championship. Akron drew No. 4 seed UCLA in the first round and seemed poised for an upset before the Bruins closed out the game on an 18-6 run to edge the Zips, 57-53.
It marked Akron’s fifth NCAA Tournament appearance in program history.
Tulane, Rhode Island, Kansas State, Nevada, Illinois State and Western Kentucky also are set to play in the 2022 edition of the Cayman Classic. Several of those programs have a long history of success in the NCAA Tournament:
Kansas State has made 31 tournament appearances since its first in 1948. The Wildcats advanced to the National Championship game in 1951 and has reached the Final Four four times, Elite Eight 13 times and the Sweet Sixteen 17 times.
Some of Kansas State’s tournament games are considered tournament classics, including a second-round win over Cincinnati in which Sports Illustrated magazine called “this most exciting game of the 1958 season” and a 50-48 win at the buzzer over second-ranked Oregon State in 1981 listed by USA Today as one of the greatest games in NCAA Tournament history.
The Wildcats most recently made the tournament in 2019.
Western Kentucky has appeared in the NCAA Tournament 23 times. The Hilltoppers, ranked No. 31 according to Street & Smith’s Magazine’s 100 Greatest Programs, have advanced to the Sweet 16 three times and last made the tournament in 2013.
Rhode Island has made 10 NCAA Tournament appearances. They advanced to the Elite Eight in 1998 and the Sweet Sixteen in 1988. The Rams’ last made the tournament in 2018.
Nevada has nine NCAA Tournament appearances, twice advancing to the Sweet Sixteen. The Wolfpack last made the tournament in 2019.
Sports & Entertainment Travel, LLC (SET), is proud to partner once again with the Cayman Islands Classic as the official fan travel provider for this established pre-season basketball tournament. SET looks forward to providing deluxe all-inclusive travel packages for the participating teams this upcoming November. Travel packages can be found at www.CaymanIslandsClassicTravel.com or by phone at 1-877-669-8903.
EventPro is the official Ticketing Partner of the Cayman Islands Classic. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased by visiting www.eventpro.ky/ or by downloading the EventPro app, available on Google Play and the App Store.
More about Cayman Islands Classic
The Cayman Islands Classic is the first NCAA College basketball tournament to be held in the Cayman Islands. The tournament is sponsored by the Mountain West Conference.Caymax Sports Ltd., an innovative sports consulting organization and leading provider of competitive basketball tournaments, focusing on creating exciting and memorable events for the college teams, students, fans and alumni, is the organizer and host of the Cayman Islands Classic.