Kansas State men’s basketball will take on Ohio Valley Conference member Eastern Kentucky in the first round of the 2018 U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam on Friday, November 16, as tournament organizers announced the complete bracket for the tournament on Thursday (May 10). This is according to a release from K-State.
The 19th annual event will return to the UVI Sports and Fitness Center in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands after being relocated to Lynchburg, Virginia and Liberty University this past November due to hurricane damage.
The Wildcats and Colonels will play for the third time in their respective histories and the first time since 1972 in the tournament’s final game on Friday, Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m., CT (8:30 p.m., local time). The winner would advance to face either Missouri Valley Conference member Northern Iowa or Ivy League co-champion and NCAA Tournament participant Penn on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 6:30 p.m., CT (8:30 p.m., local time), while the two remaining teams will play earlier in the day on Saturday at 4 p.m., CT (6 p.m., local time).
In the opposite bracket, the Pac-12’s Oregon State and Conference USA’s Old Dominion will open the tournament on Friday at 12 p.m., CT (2 p.m., local time) before the second game between NCAA Tournament participant Missouri and Atlantic Sun member Kennesaw State at 2 p.m., CT (4 p.m., local time). The matchup between Northern Iowa and Penn will tip on Friday at 4:30 p.m., CT (6:30 p.m., local time).
The winner of each bracket will face off in the championship game on Monday, Nov. 19 at 6:30 p.m., CT (8:30 p.m., local time). There will be three consolation games that will precede the title contest at 12 p.m., CT (2 p.m., local time; seventh-place game), 2 p.m., CT (4 p.m., local time; fourth-place game) and 4:30 p.m., CT (6:30 p.m., local time; third-place game), respectively.
Eastern Kentucky is expected to return 10 lettermen from a squad that posted an 11-20 overall record and finished in a tie for ninth place in the Ohio Valley. The Colonels, who will have a new head coach in A.W. Hamilton, a former assistant at N.C. State, in 2018-19 will be led by three-time First Team All-OVC selection Nick Mayo (18.0 ppg., 6.7 rpg.) and rising junior forward DeAndre Dishman (11.7 ppg., 6.2 rpg.).
This will mark the Wildcats’ second appearance in the Paradise Jam and the first since the 2002 event. K-State lost back-to-back to BYU (64-73) and Toledo (50-58) before defeating Michigan, 82-71, in the consolation game.
The full non-conference slate, as well as 2018-19 season ticket plan details, will be released in the coming weeks.