ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Washington State University men’s basketball team will face UC Santa Barbara on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 27, in the opening round of the 2014 GCI Great Alaska Shootout at Anchorage’s Alaska Airlines Center.
The Cougars will meet the Gauchos at 9 p.m. PST (8 p.m. AKST), Thursday, in the final game of the opening round, which will air on CBS Sports Network (CBSSN). The winner of the game between WSU and UCSB will face the winner of Rice versus Mercer in semifinal #2, which will take place at 9 p.m. PST (8 p.m. AKST), Friday, Nov. 28, also on CBSSN. The Bears and the Owls face each other in the opening round Thursday at 6:30 p.m. PST, the only other game of the day. The other side of the bracket has Pacific taking on host Alaska Anchorage at 8:30 p.m. PST Wednesday, Nov. 26, followed by Missouri State against Colorado State at 11 p.m. PST. All games in the opening round will air on CBSSN.
The winners of the games on Wednesday will meet in semifinal #1 prior to semifinal #2, at 6:30 p.m. PST, Friday, Nov. 28. The winners of each of the semifinals will play for the championship, Saturday, Nov. 29 at 8:30 p.m. PST (7:30 p.m. AKST), while the others will play for third and fifth, Saturday at 6 p.m. PST. The losers of all the first round games move into the consolation bracket. Consolation semifinal #1 is set for 1 p.m. PST (Noon AKST), while the second is set for 3 p.m. PST (2 p.m. AKST), Friday. The winners move on to play for fourth and sixth at 3 p.m. PST, Saturday, while the others play for seventh and eighth in the first game of the day at 1 p.m. PST, Saturday.
WSU is 1-1 all-time against UC Santa Barbara, as the two teams last met Dec. 6, 1985, resulting in a 73-70 Cougar loss at Santa Barbara. The first game of the season occurred just a year prior, Dec. 20, 1984, at Pullman, an 80-69 WSU win. Washington State has not faced Mercer, a Cinderella team of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, but lost to Rice, 64-49, Nov. 23, 2003, in Fairbanks, Alaska, as part of the Top of the World Classic, in the two schools’ only meeting.
The Cougars last appeared in the Great Alaska Shootout in 2009, capturing the tournament championship with wins over Alaska Anchorage, Nicholls State and San Diego. Then-sophomore Klay Thompson set single-game and championship-game records with 43 points in the championship game on his way to being named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. WSU also appeared in the 1981 Great Alaska Shootout as it defeated Alaska Anchorage in the opening round before falling to Southwestern Louisiana and Iona.
The GCI Great Alaska Shootout is the longest-running regular-season college basketball tournament in the nation, taking place every Thanksgiving in Anchorage since 1978. This will be the inaugural tournament held at UAA’s brand-new, 5,000-seat Alaska Airlines Center.
2014 Great Alaska Shootout Men’s Schedule
(all times Pacific Standard)
Wednesday, Nov. 26 – First Round
8:30 p.m. (Game 1) – Pacific vs. Alaska Anchorage (CBSSN)
11 p.m. (Game 2) – Missouri State vs. Colorado State (CBSSN)
Thursday, Nov. 27 – First Round
6:30 p.m. (Game 3) – Rice vs. Mercer (CBSSN)
9 p.m. (Game 4) – Washington State vs. UC Santa Barbara (CBSSN)
Friday, Nov. 28 – Consolation Semifinals & Semifinals
1 p.m. (Game 5) – Pacific/UAA loser vs. Mo. St./CSU loser
3 p.m. (Game 6) – Rice/Mercer loser vs. WSU/UCSB loser
6:30 p.m. (Game 7) – Pacific/UAA winner vs. Mo. St./CSU winner (CBSSN*)
9 p.m. (Game 8) – Rice/Mercer winner vs. WSU/UCSB winner (CBSSN*)
Saturday, Nov. 29
1 p.m. (Game 9) – Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 loser (7th/8th place)
3 p.m. (Game 10) – Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner (4th/6th place)
6 p.m. (Game 11) – Game 7 loser vs. Game 8 loser (3rd/5th place)
8:30 p.m. (Game 12) – Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner (Championship – CBSSN)
*will air tape-delayed at 9 p.m. & 11 p.m. PST