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2017 Gulf Coast Showcase Primer

Eight mid-majors will take the floor in Southwest Florida during Thanksgiving week, and four of them have a legitimate shot at winning their conference’s crown.

The 2017 Gulf Coast Showcase field
Graphic by Chris Dobbertean using logos from Sportslogos.net.

To catch up on all of the posts in this series visit the 2017-18 Early Season Events Hub.

What Is It?

The Gulf Coast Showcase

How Long Has This Event Been Around?

BD Global Sports launched this event in 2013 as a mid-major-focused tournament. Last season, the Lone Star Showcase in Cedar Park, Texas joined it, though that tournament’s planned eight-team bracket was eventually reduced to a four-team round-robin and didn’t return for this season. Instead, BD Global is launching the Islands of the Bahamas Showcase, another mid-major heavy event with a full eight-team field to be played the weekend before Thanksgiving.

BD Global also planned to start the Vancouver Showcase, an event that would feature power-conference teams this season. But thanks to the Phil Knight Invitational’s effects on the exempt tournament landscape for 2017, that event’s inaugural edition will take place in 2018 with the Minnesota Golden Gophers and Texas A&M Aggies anchoring the field.

When And Where Is It?

Eight teams will travel to Estero, Florida, just outside of Fort Myers, to play at the Germain Arena, now familiar to the nation at-large for its role as an evacuation shelter during Hurricane Irma, between Monday, November 20th and Wednesday, November 22nd.

Who's Playing?

The 2017 Gulf Coast Showcase teams in their quarterfinal matchups
Graphic by Chris Dobbertean using logos from Sportslogos.net.

The four quarterfinals are as follows:

Note that Manhattan and Towson are also slated to play in the first-ever Hall of Fame Belfast Classic, so they could meet in two tournaments played in two different countries in the same season. However, since the Jaspers and Tigers are on opposite sides of the bracket in each event, it will take some doing to ensure the repeat matchups happen.

Are There Any Non-Bracketed Games?

Seven of the eight teams will play a home game against a non-Division I opponent that’s tied to the event. Manhattan is the exception.

Did Any Of These Teams Reach The 2017 Postseason?

Just two. UMKC lost in the second round of the CBI to the eventual champion, the Wyoming Cowboys, while Georgia Southern fell to the Utah Valley U Wolverines in that tournament’s first round.

How Strong Is This Event?

Based on the average four-year rankings of the participants, the 2017 Gulf Coast Showcase ranks last among the 14 eight-team bracketed tournaments and 28th of 38 bracketed tournaments.

Have Any Of These Teams Played In This Event Before?

Even though the Gulf Coast Showcase has entered its second four-year cycle, none of these teams are repeat visitors.

What About Other BD Global Events?

These eight teams also don’t have much of a track record when it comes to BD Global tournaments.

Are There Any Other Notable Recent Meetings Between These Teams?

FAU and Manhattan each won at home during a two-year series in 2009-10 and 2010-11. The Owls also played UMKC four times between the 2006-07 and 2008-09 season, with the pair splitting their meetings—but the home team won every time.

Manhattan and Penn split a home-and-home series of their own in 2010 and 2011, with each naturally winning a close game on its own floor. The Jaspers defeated Towson twice in the span of three seasons—winning by 16 at home and 19 in Maryland.

Who Won 2016’s Edition?

Even though the Gulf Coast Showcase is aimed at mid-majors, the Houston Cougars from the American Athletic Conference, a league not considered mid-major by this author, participated in last season’s edition. Kelvin Sampson’s team won the title over the Vermont Catamounts, 72-71, though the eventual America East champion had a chance to win in the final moments of the championship game.

Did Any 2016 Teams Reach The Postseason?

Vermont and the MAC champion Kent State Golden Flashes each fell in the NCAA Tournament’s First Round, with the Catamounts’ defeat at the hands of the Purdue Boilermakers snapping their 21-game winning streak. Houston and the South Dakota Coyotes, the Summit League’s regular season champ, both lost their first NIT game. The George Mason Patriots also went 0-for-1 in the postseason, dropping a game to the Loyola (Md.) Greyhounds in the CBI.

Will This Event Be On TV?

In the past, BD Global has streamed the entire event on its YouTube page. That won’t be the case this year, as subscription site Flohoops.com took over the rights.

Who’s Your Pick To Win It?

Manhattan, Missouri State, and Towson all look like threats to win their respective conference titles, while Penn may be in line to make a second straight appearance in the Ivy League Tournament’s four-team field. And I can’t forget about Georgia Southern, a Sun Belt surprise last season and 2018 title contender, is another possible title threat. However, the Eagles’ quarterfinal against MSU is a difficult, potentially unfair draw.

Quarterfinals

Manhattan over UMKC
Missouri State over Georgia Southern
Penn over Northern Illinois
Towson over FAU

Semifinals

Missouri State over Manhattan
Towson over Penn
(consolation) Georgia Southern over UMKC
(consolation) FAU over Northern Illinois

Finals

Championship: Missouri State over Towson
3rd Place: Penn over Manhattan
5th Place: Georgia Southern over FAU
7th Place: Northern Illinois over UMKC

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