Rebels Will Play 2010 Holiday Tourney In Cancun
OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss is one of eight teams in the field for the inaugural Cancun Governor's Cup men's college basketball tournament set to be played this Dec. 22-24 at the Poliforum Benito Juarez in Cancun, Mexico.
The three-day tournament, sponsored by ESPN Regional Television, also includes Appalachian State, Colorado State, East Tennessee State, Northeastern, St. Louis, Southern Miss and Texas State. Seven of those teams reached the 2009-10 postseason, including ETSU in the NCAA Tournament and Ole Miss in the NIT Final Four. Northeastern also played in the NIT, while Colorado State and St. Louis played in the College Basketball Invitational, and Appalachian State and Southern Miss were in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
"We are pleased to launch the Cancun Governor's Cup with these eight teams," said Clint Overby, senior director of events, ESPN Regional Television. "This event is a wonderful showcase for Cancun and we're excited for the teams and their fans to be able to enjoy all that the area has to offer."
"The Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau is honored to once again welcome ESPN Regional Television, the largest syndicator of collegiate sports programming, to Cancun - one of the world's premier destinations," said Jesús Almaguer, CEO of the Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau. "It is a privilege for us to host the Cancun Governor's Cup and we're extremely excited to show the world the beauty, diversity and magic of Cancun."
The new tournament will feature 12 games through three days. Each team will compete in one game per day, advancing through a bracket-tournament format. The two teams that remain undefeated will face off in a championship match. Conference USA will serve as the event's sponsoring conference.
The Cancun Governor's Cup supports youth basketball initiatives in Mexico started by the Telmex Foundation and Mexican NBA star Eduardo Najera, which strives to bring the game of basketball to the youth of Mexico. Since 2007, when the league was created, 60,000 kids from across Mexico have participated. The Cancun Governor's Cup will annually offer tickets to the league for kids to experience collegiate basketball firsthand.
Cancun is a world-class vacation destination located on the coast of Mexico's easternmost state, Quintana Roo. The area is known for its outstanding beaches, outdoor activities, dining and archaeological sites. December temperatures range from 68 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ole Miss continues its tradition of participating in high-level, beachfront tournaments during the non-conference portion of its schedule. Since Andy Kennedy arrived at the helm, the Rebels have made two trips to San Juan, Puerto Rico (2007 and 2009), and played in Dayton Beach, Fla. (2008). The team has also competed in a single game in Biloxi, Miss., against Southern Miss (2008). Last year, Ole Miss lost to No. 5 Villanova in the championship game of the O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off, while in 2007 the team won the San Juan Shootout title by beating No. 15 Clemson.
The Poliforum Benito Juarez arena is located on Boulevard Luis Donaldo S/N, a few minutes from the Cancun International Airport and was opened last year as the home of the Pioneros Quintana Roo, the basketball team of the state of Quintana Roo.
For ticket or travel information, visit www.cancungovernorscup.com.
ESPN Regional Television/Event Ownership
The nation's largest syndicator of collegiate sports programming, ESPN Regional Television (ERT) annually produces more than 1,000 telecasts of sporting events. Programming includes football, basketball, NCAA events, golf and NHRA events accounting for more than 2,200 live and/or original hours of programming. In addition to event ownership, ERT is the production headquarters for ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network; syndication rights-holder and producer of national, regional and local shows for college conferences (e.g. - SEC, BIG EAST, Big 12, Mid-American, WAC).
ESPN Regional Television markets and/or owns several sporting events, including collegiate football events: the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg; Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth, Texas); MAACO Bowl Las Vegas; New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Papajohns.com Bowl (Birmingham, Ala.); Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl (Honolulu); Texas Bowl (Houston); the MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney (Orlando, Fla.); and The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards; collegiate basketball events: the 76 Classic (Anaheim, Calif.); Cancun Governor's Cup; Charleston Classic (S.C.); SEC/BIG EAST Invitational; Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Old Spice Classic (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Puerto Rico Tipoff (San Juan); All-College Basketball Classic (Oklahoma City) and BracketBusters; as well as the new ESPNU Warrior Classic (Lacrosse) and the ESPN National Golf Challenge presented by Callaway. For more information, visit ESPNPlus.com.
About CancunCancun, the gateway to Mexico and the Mayan world, offers luxurious hotel infrastructure with more than 28,000 rooms, and is Mexico's most beautiful and stylish destination. Opportunities for new experiences are everywhere, as the setting brings you into contact with both nature and Mayan culture like nowhere else. Top-level gastronomy and nightlife; warm beaches with soft, white sand; crystal-clear, turquoise seas; and a location opposite the Great Mesoamerican Reef System, in tandem with Mexico's world-famous hospitality, make Cancun an entirely unique tourist destination. Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau: www.cancun.travel.
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