POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Feb 19, 2011
Kansas State has replaced Texas A&M as the Big 12's entry into the 2011 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center.
On Monday, Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon announced in a school release that his team withdrew because of an earlier projected start to the Big 12 schedule next season. He also cited a summer foreign tour.
However, K-State quickly arranged to fill the gap and is expected to officially announce its participation today. In addition, the Aggies will return to play in the 2013 DHC.
The end result is even better for the Hawaii-hosted, ESPN Regional TV-operated holiday tourney, which is heading into its third year of play in late December.
"We're excited how this played out, getting Texas A&M in the future is great, and getting Kansas State too, which just beat the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks this week," DHC tournament director David Matlin said. "They were an Elite Eight team last year."
Kansas State lost to Butler in last season's NCAA Tournament fourth round and started this season ranked No. 3. The Wildcats (17-9 overall) fell out of the Top 25, but are coming off an 84-68 win over top-ranked Kansas on Monday.
The current 2011 field is host Hawaii, Clemson, Long Beach State, UTEP, Xavier, Kansas State and two teams yet to be announced.
Signs point to either the Pac-10 or Southeastern Conference filling out one of the remaining two holes, with a mid-major conference filling out the other spot.