To catch up on all of the posts in this series visit the 2017-18 Early Season Events Hub.
What Is It?
How Long Has This Event Been Around?
This tournament is one of the three new bracketed tournaments for this season. (Four if you want to count the Jamaica Showcase.)
When And Where Is It?
Quarterfinals are set for Friday, November 17th, semifinals for Saturday, the 18th, and the finals on Sunday, the 19th. All 12 games will take place at the Kendall Issacs National Gymnasium in the Bahamian capital, Nassau.
Much like BD Global Sports’ Gulf Coast Showcase, this event focuses on mid-majors.
- Vermont Catamounts (America East) vs. Bradley Braves (MVC)
- Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (Sun Belt) vs. UTSAntonio Roadrunners (C-USA)
- Northern Kentucky Norse (Horizon) vs. James Madison Dukes (CAA)
- Iona Gaels (MAAC) vs. Weber State Wildcats (Big Sky)
Are There Any Non-Bracketed Games?
Six participants have scheduled home games against non-Division I opposition to serve as fourth games for this event. Iona and NKU are the exceptions.
Did Any Of These Teams Reach The 2017 Postseason?
Three squads—Iona, Northern Kentucky, and Vermont—played in the NCAAs, with the Norse making their first-ever appearance in their first year of eligibility. Most notably, the Catamounts put together a 21-game winning streak to claim the America East regular season and tournament crowns. Unfortunately, all three lost in the First Round.
Coastal Carolina lost the CBI’s three-game championship series to the Wyoming Cowboys two games to one, while eventual runner-up Texas A&M-Corpus Christi eliminated Weber State in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament’s second round.
How Strong Is This Event?
Based on the average four-year rankings of the participants, the 2017 Islands of the Bahamas Showcase ranks 12th of 14 eight-team bracketed tournaments and 22nd of 38 bracketed tournaments.
Have Any Of These Teams Played In This Event Before?
Since this is the first edition of this event, that’s a negative.
What About Other BD Global Events?
Now, this is a different story. Three participants—Vermont, Bradley (2016), and Weber State (2015) are recent visitors to the Gulf Coast Showcase. The Houston Cougars, decidedly not a mid-major edged the Catamounts 72-71 in last season’s Estero final (the Braves went 1-2 and didn’t meet UVM), while Weber swept through the 2015 event, topping the Murray State Racers in the title tilt. Additionally, Coastal Carolina lost both of its road games in 2016’s Men Who Speak Up Main Event (another BD Global tournament) before defeating the Coppin State Eagles in a game moved to Conway due to the MEAC squad’s travel schedule and the Southern Utah Thunderbirds in the Chanticleers’ lone game in Vegas. That’s a better performance than the 0-4 one UTSA managed in their 2015 appearance in the same event.
Additionally, three participants have played in BD Global-organized campus-site round-robins over the past three seasons. UTSA went 1-3 in the 2016 Orange Express Showcase, defeating only the Prairie View A&M Panthers, but that’s a win better than both JMU (0-4 in the 2016 Hardwood Showcase) and Iona (0-2 in 2015’s Beaver Showcase) managed in their events. Although, in the case of the Gaels, they lost on the road to both the Valparaiso Crusaders and Oregon State Beavers, who ended their 2015-16 seasons with an NIT and NCAA bid, respectively. However, Iona won three of their four outings in the 2014 Roundball Showcase—highlighted by a road victory over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
Are There Any Other Notable Recent Meetings Between These Teams?
There have been just three games over the past 10 seasons involving some combination of these eight teams—and all of them feature Tim Cluess’s squad. Just last season, Iona rolled past Weber State in the Great Alaska Shootout semifinals, 76-54. Going a bit further back, the Gaels split a home-and-home with Vermont that was played in the Decembers of 2010 and 2011.
These squads haven’t even managed to meet each other in MTEs all that frequently, so kudos to BD Global for putting together a field that features a plethora of potentially fresh matchups.
Will This Event Be On TV?
In the past, BD Global has streamed its events on its YouTube Channel. However, based on the bottom of the event website, the FloHoops subscription service will take over this season. However, the release linked on the Islands of the Bahamas site doesn’t list the tournament.
Who’s Your Pick To Win It?
Vermont is poised to build on last season and looks to be a slight favorite over Iona and NKU.
Vermont over Bradley
Coastal Carolina over UTSA
NKU over JMU
Iona over Weber State
Vermont over Coastal Carolina
Iona over NKU
(consolation) UTSA over Bradley
(consolation) Weber State over JMU
Championship: Vermont over Iona
3rd/4th: NKU over Coastal Carolina
5th/6th: Weber State over UTSA
7th/8th: JMU over Bradley