With Puerto Rico reeling in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, one of its significant basketball events is being relocated to the Grand Strand.
The 2017 Puerto Rico Tip-Off will take place Nov. 16-19 at the HTC Center on Coastal Carolina University’s campus in Conway. The City of Myrtle Beach is also playing a role in hosting the event.
Teams participating in the tournament include 2017 Final Four participant South Carolina, Appalachian State, Boise State, Illinois State, Iowa State, Tulsa, UTEP and Western Michigan.
The event is an ESPN production and all games will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks, including the opening game and championship game on ESPN2.
The Myrtle Beach area Chamber of Commerce contacted Coastal Carolina about possibly hosting the event.
It’s under tough circumstances but we’re in a position to be able to help,” Coastal Carolina director of athletics Matt Hogue said. “Once we were able to check our calendars and saw that it could work out, we were all about helping them out.”
Hogue said all of the university’s teams that play at the HTC Center are on the road that weekend, with the exception of the women’s basketball team, which has a game scheduled on Nov. 18 – an off day for the tournament.
Hogue said the school will break even financially at worst by hosting the event. “We know we’ll come out of this cost-neutral at the very worst,” Hogue said, “and there’s a greater impact and greater benefit. We’ll get to showcase our campus and help Puerto Rico.”
Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. commonwealth a week ago, leaving it without water, power and other resources, and many on the island are still without basic necessities.
Said Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes: “Being a resort on the Atlantic Coast, we understand what happens to a city that has been hit by a major hurricane, and it is our privilege to be asked to help our neighbors in Puerto Rico during this difficult time.”
Puerto Rico Tip-Off Schedule
Thursday, Nov. 16
Illinois vs. South Carolina
Boise State vs. UTEP
Iowa State vs. Appalachian State
Tulsa vs. Western Michigan
Friday, Nov. 17
Consolation No. 1
Semifinal No. 1
Consolation No. 2
Semifinal No. 2
Sunday, Nov. 19
Seventh Place Game
Fifth Place Game
Third Place Game
* Non-bracketed games: Bridgewater at Appalachian State (Nov. 12) and Western Michigan at South Carolina (Nov. 13)