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Rainbow Classic not part of 2011-12 basketball schedule

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 6:42 p.m. HST, Sep 14, 2011

The long-running Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic will not be a part of the upcoming 2011-12 Hawaii men's basketball season, per the schedule released today.

Because of difficulties filling out the 48th Classic, UH's traditional tournament — which was relegated to a four-team, round-robin format two years ago — will take a one-year hiatus. It will be the first gap in the history of the tourney, which started in 1964.

"Unfortunately one of the teams in this year's Classic bowed out late, and the remaining two teams did not agree to the replacements we presented them," UH coach Gib Arnold said in a release. "We had to move on; however, we look forward to hosting the Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic next year."

Not including an exhibition vs. Hawaii Pacific on Nov. 11, there are 18 home dates on the slate.

UH will still host the nationally televised Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic on Dec. 22, 23 and 25, featuring some of its best nonconference competition of the season. Xavier, Long Beach State, Kansas State and Clemson are among UH's possible opponents.

A neutral-site game against Gonzaga in Vancouver, Canada, on Nov. 19 and a New Years Eve home date vs. UNLV are the other highlights outside of Western Athletic Conference play, which starts at home against San Jose State on Jan. 7.

After the HPU exhibition, UH kicks off the season with a Nov. 14 matchup against Cal State Northridge in the College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon at 11 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center. The game will be televised on ESPN.

The Rainbow Warriors will play two neighbor island nonconference games, vs. Hawaii-Hilo in Kona on Dec. 16 and vs. North Carolina A&T in Wailuku on Dec. 18.

"It's a goal of ours to play on the neighbor islands every year," Arnold said. "I believe we represent all the islands and we want to take our team to our loyal fans throughout the state. The goal is to not only play games, but perform coaching clinics as well. This is something we are all very excited about."

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