(Hawaii Athletics) - The University of Hawai'i men's basketball team (7-2) faces its biggest challenge of the season when it takes on undefeated and sixth-ranked Miami (9-0) in the opening round of the 2017 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic on Friday, Dec. 22. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Joining UH and Miami in this year's tournament field are Akron, Davidson, Middle Tennessee, New Mexico State, Princeton, and USC. The Rainbow Warriors and Hurricanes last met in the opening round of the 2012 edition of the tournament with the Hurricanes winning, 73-58. This will be the third straight year UH will host a Top 10 squad. UH fell to No. 5 North Carolina last year and to No. 3 Oklahoma in the 2015 Diamond Head Classic semifinals.
UH is riding the waves of a season-long three-game win streak. Its latest win came in thrilling fashion as UH held off Utah Valley, 70-69, in a game that went down to the very last possession. With the win, the 'Bows improved to 7-1 at home this year.
Following its game against Miami, UH will face either Davidson or New Mexico State. UH has never played Davidson, while NMSU is a former WAC foe (2006-12).
Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic
Who: Hawai'i (7-2, 0-0 Big West) vs. No. 6 Miami (9-0, 0-0 ACC)
When: Friday, Dec. 22, 2017
Time: 8:00 p.m. HT
Where: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) - Honolulu, HI
Television: ESPNU. Roxy Bernstein (play-by-play) and Cory Alexander (color) on the call.
Streaming Video: WatchESPN (subscription required).
Radio: ESPN 1420 AM with Bobby Curran and Jeff Portnoy. Neighbor islands can listen live on KNUI on Maui, KPUA on the Big Island, KTOH on Kaua'i, and KNWJ in Pago Pago, American Samoa.
Audio Webcast: ESPN1420am.com/Sideline Hawai'i App.
Live Stats: HawaiiAthletics.com
Ticket Information: Individual: $10-$30; Package: $70-$110. Available for purchase online.
Coaches: Eran Ganot is in his third season at UH (49-24). Jim Larrañaga is in his seventh season at Miami (148-69) and 34th season overall (618-403).
Series Information: Miami leads, 3-1.
About Miami: Miami is one of just four remaining undefeated teams in the country...the Hurricanes are second nationally in scoring defense (56.3) and field goal percentage (.347) defense...Miami is winning by an average of 20.7 ppg...sophomore center Dewan Huell leads a balanced attack with 13.3 ppg.
'Bow Bits: UH received two votes in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll...UH is 7-1 at home this year and 10-2 in its last 12 homes games dating back to last season…six of UH's nine games have been decided by double-figures, including five of the last six contests…UH is 3-0 in games decided by five points or less, including a 70-69 win over Utah Valley in its last outing…UH's two losses this year are against Nevada and Utah, who are a combined 16-5 on the season….UH is second in the Big West in assists at 14.8 per game...a total of 60 percent of the team's field goals have been assisted…the UH bench has contributed no less than 25 points in six of the last seven games…Jack Purchase continues to lead the Big West and is ranked 11th in the NCAA in assist-turnover ratio (4.14)…Sheriff Drammeh and Brocke Stepteau are shooting a combined 44 percent (20-45) on three-pointers, while the rest of team is shooting a combined 22 percent (30-134).
UH in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic: UH is 10-11 all-time in the tournament (three wins vacated in 2012 and '13)...UH is 3-5 in DHC openers and has advanced to the championship bracket three times overall...UH's best finish is third place, which occurred in 2014 and '15...UH finished seventh last year, its lowest finish.