Minnesota and Texas A&M to headline basketball showcase

Vancouver to host men’s and women’s U.S. college basketball tournament at convention centre.

A major U.S. college basketball tournament is coming to British Columbia.

The Vancouver Basketball Showcase will feature an eight-team men’s tourney and an eight-team women’s tourney in November 2018.

Originally scheduled for the upcoming season, the event promoter announced the date change today — at the same time disclosing that Minnesota and Texas A&M would be headlining the tournament on the men’s side.

“In consultation with our local partners at Tourism Vancouver and Sport Hosting Vancouver, we made the decision to launch this event in 2018 in order to maximize the impact locally in Vancouver and to kick-off the festivities with the best possible field,” said Brooks Downing, President and CEO of bd Global, the event promoter.

“Initially, as we were securing teams for 2017, ’18 and beyond, the strength of the field in 2018 was so impressive, we felt it was best to wait 12 months and really set the bar on how strong of a destination location that Vancouver can be for NCAA basketball. The tourism value will be greater and the competition in the field will be as strong as any regular-season tournament that season. It will be worth the wait.”

Both the men’s and women’s tournaments will be played back-to-back at the Vancouver Convention Centre — space in the East building will be transformed into a 3,000-plus seat venue, complete with portable bleachers, portable floor, baskets, and video boards.

The men’s tournament will tip-off first from November 18-20, followed by the women’s tournament on November 22-24.

Both headlining teams come from major basketball conferences and each has enjoyed recent success on the hardwood. Minnesota is coached by Richard Pitino, son of current Louisville and Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino, while Texas A&M made it to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament two years ago.

Additional teams in both the men’s and women’s fields will be announced in the next few weeks.

More information, including ticket registration can be found here.

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