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Auburn, So. Illinois round out 2011 Diamond Head Classic field

Auburn of the Southeastern Conference and Southern Illinois of the Missouri Valley Conference have completed the 2011 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic basketball tournament field.

They join a third-year field which includes Xavier, UTEP, Long Beach State, Clemson, Kansas State and host Hawaii, to be played Dec. 22, 23 and 25 at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Four of the eight teams reached the NCAA Tournament in 2010.

SIU (12-16 overall) reached the postseason in seven of the past nine years. Auburn (9-17) is in a rebuilding season under new coach Tony Barbee, but offers another power-conference name.

Kansas State recently replaced Texas A&M out of the Big 12. The A&M Aggies will instead play in the DHC in 2013.

“The addition of the Big 12’s Kansas State, the SEC’s Auburn and a Southern Illinois team that has been in the NCAA Tournament six of the last nine years, adds to an already talented field,” said tournament executive director David Matlin. “The 2011 edition of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic promises to be an exciting three days of basketball.”

Butler won the 2010 DHC over Washington State in the second year of the tournament.

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