Aggies to Play in Great Alaska Shootout
The New Mexico State men’s basketball team is set to play in the 2011 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout this November. University of Alaska Anchorage officials announced the tournament field Wednesday.
Along with host Alaska Anchorage, men’s teams from UC Irvine, Central Michigan, Dartmouth, Murray State, New Mexico State, San Francisco and Southern Mississippi will appear at Sullivan Arena for the 34th annual college basketball tournament.
First-round matchups have been set for the men’s tournament, commencing with Southern Miss-Alaska Anchorage and Murray State-UC Irvine, Nov. 23, followed by San Francisco-Central Michigan and New Mexico State-Dartmouth, Nov. 24. Tip-off times will be announced later.
“I think it will be a very good trip in terms of the level of competition,” head coach Marvin Menzies said. “I know San Francisco will be a highly-ranked team in the WCC (West Coast Conference) next year. I know Central Michigan has a very solid program, and the potential second round pairing is going to be a very competitive game. Dartmouth is going to present its challenges with its style of play.
“I think we’re getting exactly what we want out of this tournament, which is some very competitive games with an opportunity to compete against teams on a neutral floor.”
The Aggies claimed the Shootout title in 1992 with wins over Tennessee-Chattanooga, 75-65, Oregon, 86-75, and Illinois, 95-94. NM State’s first round matchup with Dartmouth will be the first meeting in program history. The Aggies’ have a 3-2 series lead over San Francisco and are tied 1-1 with Central Michigan. NM State leads the series with UC Irvine, 27-8, and Southern Miss, 1-0, but trail Murray State, 1-7. A meeting with Alaska Anchorage would be the first between the two programs.
The tournament also hosts women’s teams from Miami (Fla.) and South Florida, and another team will be announced soon to finalize the women’s field. This year’s tournament is scheduled for Nov. 22-26, opening with women’s first-round action on Tuesday night and concluding with the men’s championship on Saturday.
“We are pleased with the quality programs and competitive field we have assembled for 2011 Shootout,” UAA athletic director Dr. Steve Cobb said. “Along with a returning champion, there will be a great many storylines worth watching following this fall. We are proud to host this Alaska Thanksgiving tradition for its 34th year.”
Dartmouth (Ivy League) and Murray State (Ohio Valley) will become the first men’s schools from their respective conferences to play at the Shootout.
On the women’s side, Miami will feature Anchorage native Sylvia Bullock, the sister of UAA men’s career scoring leader Peter Bullock, in its starting lineup, and South Florida gives the Shootout a women’s representative from the Big East Conference for the third time in four years.
The Shootout is the longest-running regular-season college basketball tournament in the nation, taking place every Thanksgiving in Anchorage since 1978.
2011 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout
Sullivan Arena-Anchorage, Alaska
All times to be announced (Alaska is 4 hours behind EST)
Wednesday, Nov. 23-First Round
Southern Mississippi vs. Alaska Anchorage
UC Irvine vs. Murray State
Thursday, Nov. 24-First Round
Central Michigan vs. San Francisco
New Mexico State vs. Dartmouth
Friday, Nov. 25-Consolation Semifinals and Semifinals
Southern Mississippi-Alaska Anchorage loser vs. UC Irvine-Murray State loser
Central Michigan-San Francisco loser vs. New Mexico State-Dartmouth loser
Southern Mississippi-Alaska Anchorage winner vs. UC Irvine-Murray State winner
Central Michigan-San Francisco winner vs. New Mexico State-Dartmouth winner
Saturday, Nov. 26