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FGCU to play Toledo to open Gulf Coast Showcase, S. Dakota St. among headliners

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The FGCU men’s basketball team will start off their Thanksgiving week against Toledo as part of the Gulf Coast Showcase at Germain Arena in November.

bd Global, the tournament’s organizer, announced the full field on Thursday, which includes the Eagles and Rockets, along with South Dakota State, Colorado State, Texas-San Antonio, UC-Irvine, Tulane, and Louisiana-Lafayette.

Toledo and FGCU play the final game of the night on the tournament’s opening day, Nov. 19, with a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.

“I think it speaks volumes of how this event has grown since 2013 when you have two very recognizable programs such as Tulane and Colorado State, and yet they are not among your four top teams from last season in this field,” said Brooks Downing, whose company bd Global manages the annual event. “And to have FGCU back in the event with new coach Michael Fly hands down makes this our best tournament field yet.”

FGCU, as previously reported, will be playing in the Thanksgiving week tournament for the second time in program history. In 2014, they defeated Marist and San Francisco before losing to Green Bay in the championship game.

The Gulf Coast Showcase and tournaments like it allow a school to participate in them once every four years. A separate women’s tournament runs starting the Friday after Thanksgiving, where the FGCU women competed for the first time in 2016.

With South Dakota State in the field, it creates an odd situation for non-conference opponents where the Eagles could potentially play them twice within a week. FGCU hosts the Jackrabbits at Alico Arena on Nov. 16 and could face them again on Nov. 21 in either the third-place or championship game should both teams make it that far.

“Our program is excited about participating in the Gulf Coast Showcase,” FGCU coach Michael Fly said. “It’s a very competitive field and gives our fans a great opportunity to see us play quality opponents here in Fort Myers. I also think it is a valuable experience for our players to play good teams on a neutral court, which could really help us later in the season as we continue to grow and develop throughout the year.”

Nov. 19 will be the fourth matchup between FGCU and Toledo, the two teams playing three times between 2010 and 2012. The Rockets won the first ever game between the two, 73-65 in Ohio in 2010, while the Eagles won the least two, both in Fort Myers.

TEAMS BY 2017-18 RECORD AND RESULTS

South Dakota State(28-7), NCAA Tournament First Round(No. 12 seed)
Louisiana-Lafayette(27-7), NIT first round(No. 6 seed)
Toledo(23-11), MAC Championship Game
FGCU(23-12), NIT first round(No. 7 seed)
UT-San Antonio(20-15), Conference USA second round
UC-Irvine(18-17), Big West Championship Game
Tulane(14-17), American Tournament first round
Colorado State(11-21), Mountain West first round

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

Monday
South Dakota State vs. Tulane, 11 a.m.
UC-Irvine vs. UTSA, 1:30 p.m.
Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Colorado State, 5 p.m.
FGCU vs. Toledo, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday
(Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser), 11 a.m.
(Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser), 1:30 p.m.
(Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner), 5 p.m.
(Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner), 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday
Seventh-place game, 11 a.m.
Fifth-place game, 1:30 p.m.
Third-place game, 5 p.m.
Championship game, 7:30 p.m.


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