Hamden, CT -- The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team will travel to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands next season to compete in the 2012 Paradise Jam. It will be the first in-season, invitational tournament in Bobcats history.
The Bobcats will take on the Gaels of Iona College in the opening round of the tournament on Friday, November 16, 2012 at the Sports and Fitness Center at UVI. Tip-off is tentatively scheduled for 9 p.m., but is subject to change due to television. Depending on the result, the Bobcats face its second opponent - either Connecticut or Wake Forest - Saturday (Nov. 17) or Sunday (Nov. 18). The other side of the bracket features first round matchups: New Mexico vs. Illinois-Chicago and Mercer vs. George Mason.
"We are thrilled to be competing in the 2012 Paradise Jam Tournament in the US Virgin Islands," said Head Coach Tom Moore. "To be in a field with such storied programs as defending National Champion UConn, Wake Forest, New Mexico, and George Mason will continue to elevate the profile of Quinnipiac Basketball on the national landscape. Since 2000, the people from Basketball Travelers have put together elite college basketball tournaments every November in the Virgin Islands and we are honored to be a part of all the action next season."
Also playing in next season's tournament is Illinois-Chicago. In 2008, the UConn Huskies won the Paradise Jam in a season that ended with a loss in the NCAA Final Four. The tournament will be hosted by the University of the Virgin Islands and is scheduled from Thursday, November 15-20, 2012. Specific games have not been announced, but each team will participate in three games.
"Quinnipiac's invitation to the Paradise Jam is another huge benchmark for Quinnipiac Athletics and Coach Moore's program," said Director of Athletics and Recreation Jack McDonald. "We look forward to competing with some of the best institutions and basketball programs in Division I."
The U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam offers men's and women's college basketball teams a chance for excellent early season competition. The tournament is played at the 4,000-seat Sports and Fitness Center at UVI. Since 2004, Basketball Travelers, Inc. has worked with Fox Sports to televise multiple Paradise Jam tournament games annually.
The 2011 invitational, November 18-22, 2011, featured Marquette, Mississippi, TCU, Virginia, Drake, Drexel, Norfolk State, and Winthrop. Marquette won the Paradise Jam tournament, defeating Norfolk 59-57, in the Championship. Marquette's Darius Johnson-Odom was the game's high scorer with 20 points and was selected tournament MVP.
For addition information regarding the tournament, travel arrangements or tickets, please visit, www.paradisejam.com.