The 2020 Cayman Islands Classic won’t take place in the Cayman Islands.
The tournament, which Western Kentucky’s men’s basketball team is scheduled to play in, has been relocated to Niceville, Fla., in the wake of the COVID-19 virus, tournament organizers announced Wednesday in a news release.
The tournament is scheduled Nov. 23-25 at Raider Arena on the campus of Northwest Florida State College. Teams participating in the tournament with WKU are Kansas State, La Salle, Ole Miss, Miami, Nevada, Northern Iowa and Oregon State. It was originally scheduled to be played at John Gray Gymnasium in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.
Four different Power Five conferences are represented among the field. WKU is 8-4 against Power Five competition since the start of the 2017-18 season. WKU is 23-20 all time against the teams in the field. Oregon State would be the only first-time opponent for the Hilltoppers.
Kansas State, Ole Miss and Nevada all competed in the 2019 NCAA Tournament. Northern Iowa is the reigning Missouri Valley Conference regular-season champion, while posting a 25-6 mark during the 2019-20 campaign. This year’s NCAA Tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Four games will be played each day, with brackets for the tournament being released later this month. Each team is guaranteed three games.
“The Cayman Islands Government will be implementing a phased re-opening of its borders in the final quarter of this year that also involves a five-day self quarantine for each visitor. Any adjustments made to this phased approach will depend on the results of the first phase,” Joe Wright, Chief Executive Officer for CaymaxSports, said in the release.
“Although these conditions do not make it possible for this year’s tournament to be held in Cayman, we completely understand and respect the Government’s decision and approach. The Cayman Islands Government has done a phenomenal job in suppressing and controlling the COVID-19 disease and we commend them for that. We look forward to bringing the tournament back to the Cayman Islands in 2021.”
Tickets for the tournament will go on sale later this summer. More tournament information can be found at caymanislandsclassic.com. All games of the event will be streamed by FloSports.