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Mountain West announces new in-season tournament set to begin November 2017 in Cayman Islands


Mike Miller

In-season tournaments are commonplace in college basketball, especially during the month of November in which teams can play multiple games within a short time span and use those opportunities to evaluate their progress at that early juncture in the season.

Thursday it was announced that in November 2017 there will be another such event on the college basketball landscape, as Global Sports Management has partnered with Caymax Sports LTD to host an event on the Cayman Islands. Also involved in this venture is the Mountain West Conference, which will be able to send one of its teams to the eight-team event every year.

“The Mountain West is thrilled to partner with Global Sports Management and (tournament director) Maury Hanks to develop a new and exciting NCAA Division I men’s basketball exempt event in the Cayman Islands starting in 2017,” Mountain West senior associate commissioner Dan Butterly said in the release.

“With a new arena and the tremendous hospitality of the Cayman Islands, we are excited to have a Mountain West team guaranteed a slot in this annual event.”

Depending upon the caliber of teams this event draws this could be a positive boost for the Mountain West from a strength of schedule standpoint. Non-conference strength of schedule numbers cost the Mountain West in the NCAA tournament this season, with regular season champion Boise State getting an 11-seed and Colorado State being left out despite winning 27 games.

If they’re to avoid a similar fate in the future, the conference as a whole will need to step up in this area. Another move the conference has made in recent weeks was formally announce the restarting of its annual challenge with the Missouri Valley Conference, which should benefit its perennial tournament teams provided they get matchups with the best teams in the Valley.