The eight-team field for the 2013 Cancun Challenge is finally set, with 2013 NCAA tournament participants Saint Louis and Wisconsin headlining the field.
The event will feature two four-team fields, with the Billikens and Badgers being joined by Old Dominion and West Virginia in the Riviera Division.
The Mayan Division bracket consists of Bowling Green, Georgia Southern, Oral Roberts and Presbyterian. The two brackets will play games in Cancun on November 26 and 27.
“We’re excited about this year’s field which will be one of the most competitive since the tournament’s inception in 2008,” Cancun Challenge director Brent Amick said in the release.
“This is a special event for teams and fans and is played in an incredible ocean-front setting in Mexico. Fans making the trip down to cheer on their school will be able to watch great competition while enjoy the warm climate and beautiful beaches of the Riviera Maya.”
Prior to playing two games in Mexico the participating teams will plays games November 21 and 23. Riviera Division teams will host Mayan Division teams in match-ups that have yet to be determined on those dates.
Of the eight participants Saint Louis (28-7) was the most successful in 2012-13, winning the Atlantic 10 regular season and tournament titles before falling to Oregon in the third round of the NCAA tournament. Wisconsin finished the 2012-13 season with a record of 24-12, losing to Ole Miss in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Both Old Dominion and West Virginia will look to rebound from disappointing seasons in 2013-14, with the Monarchs playing their first season under new head coach Jeff Jones and the Mountaineers embarking on their second year as a member of the Big 12.
Last year’s winner of the Riviera Division of the Challenge was Wichita State, which ultimately reached the Final Four before losing to eventual national champion Louisville.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.