Top of the World Classic Field Announced
Fairbanks, AK - Hosted by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, seven Division I teams from the “lower 48” will be joining UA’s Nanooks in the spectacle held at the Carlson Center which has become a popular D-I event.
Akron, the Mid-American East regular-season champion and an NCAA tournament team except for a last-second desperation shot, won 26 of 33 games last season and will be considered an early favorite in the TOWC with three of its first five scorers returning.
Nevertheless, it’s the overall balance of the eight-team field and its balance which is the most notable aspect of next season’s tournament.
Colorado State and the Nanooks, both with 17-13 marks, are top teams in the tournament’s upper bracket based on final 2007 records.
The Rams will be facing a dangerous Oregon State (11-21) club in the meet’s opening game Thursday (Nov. 15) while the Nanooks have been pitted against Tennessee State (12-20).
Akron will likely be a strong favorite in its first outing against South Carolina Upstate which will be competing for the first season at the D-I level after collecting a 17-11 record in its final year of D-II play.
In the final game of the TOWC’s first-round, a powerful Portland State club which won 19 while losing 13 a year ago, will open against IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis).
Overall the 2007 tournament teams posted a composite 134-113 won-lost record compared to an overall 130-122 mark compiled by teams from last year’s TOWC field.
The complete pairings follow:
Thursday (Nov. 15)—
Game 1, 6:00 p.m. Colorado State vs. Oregon State
Game 2, 8:30 p.m. Alaska vs. Tennessee State
Friday (Nov. 16)—
Game 3, 6:00 p.m. Akron vs. South Carolina Upstate
Game 4, 8:30 p.m. Portland State vs. IUPUI
Saturday (Nov. 17)—
Game 5*, 12:00 p.m. Losers of games 1 and 2
Game 6, 2:30 p.m. Losers of games 3 and 4
Game 7*, 5:30 p.m. Winners of games 1 and 2
Game 8, 8:00 p.m. Winners of games 3 and 4
Sunday (Nov. 18)—
Game 9*, 10:00 a.m. Losers of games 5 and 6 (7th and 8th place)
Game 10*, 12:30 p.m. Losers of games 7 and 8 (3rd and 5th place)
Game 11*, 3:30 p.m. Winners of games 5 and 6 (4th and 6th place)
Game 12, 6:00 p.m. Winners of games 7 and 8 (1st and 2nd place)
The championship game between winners of games 7 and 8 will follow three earlier games determining the other six-place finishers in the tournament.
*As in previous years, there will be a provision granted the host Nanooks allowing their games to always be played in an evening session.
– www.alaskananooks.com –