The Hawaii basketball team will open its 2017-18 season against a very familiar foe.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff is the first official opponent on the Rainbow Warriors’ schedule Nov. 10, UH announced in revealing the order of its Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic opponents today. It is the second time in four years UH slotted the Golden Lions of the SWAC for its opener (2014-15), and in all it will be the sixth trip in eight years to Manoa for UAPB.
UH follows with games against North Dakota (Nov. 12) of the Big Sky and Troy (Nov. 13) of the Sun Belt in the round-robin tournament format. It hasn’t yet been announced if the last game of the tournament will be a late-night game in the ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon as in recent seasons.
Troy previously put out the field for the Rainbow Classic as part of its schedule but the order of opponents was unknown.
Pine Bluff went 7-25 last season, but North Dakota and Troy made the NCAA Tournament as 15 seeds. UH beat UAPB 64-44 last season and lost to Troy 65-63 at the Stan Sheriff Center.
“The Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic has been a fan favorite for more than 50 years,” UH coach Eran Ganot said in a release. “And with this year’s competitive field — including two squads that made the NCAA Tournament — we know it will be another top-notch event. We can’t thank Outrigger enough for their continued commitment to this tournament, our basketball program, and our athletics department.”
UH’s full schedule is expected to be released next week.