The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Monday the field of teams scheduled to play in the Air Force Reserve Jerry Colangelo Classic presented by Citi. The field includes Liberty who will face Grand Canyon on Dec. 8 at the Talking Stick Resort Arena, home of the Phoenix Suns.
"Liberty is honored and humbled by the opportunity to play in the Basketball Hall of Fame's Jerry Colangelo Classic," Liberty Head Coach Ritchie McKay said. "Mr. Colangelo has done so much for the game of basketball not only in the U.S., but across the world. This game affords our players the opportunity to play in a tournament-like atmosphere against an exceptional opponent in GCU."
The Flames are a part of an exceptional field that also includes Saint Mary's and Dayton as all four teams played in the postseason last year. Liberty and Saint Mary's made the NCAA Tournament while Dayton appeared in the CIT and GCU played West Virginia in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI).
Of the four teams participating in the classic, Liberty (53) finished last season with the second highest NET ranking as Saint Mary's finished No. 35, Dayton finished No. 70 and GCU was No. 104. The showcase will be a two-day event as the final day features Saint Mary's against Arizona State on Dec. 18.
This will be the first-ever meeting between Liberty and GCU as this will be the just the third time in school history Liberty has played in the state of Arizona. The Flames previously faced Arizona and Valparaiso in 2003 in Tucson. The Flames will face an exceptional opponent as GCU finished with a 20-14 record last season, advancing to the WAC Championship for the second straight season.
The Jerry Colangelo Classic and Basketball Hall of Fame Showcase are two events in the Hall of Fame's series of collegiate events, which continues to grow in an effort to celebrate the game outside the museum walls. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to continue its relationship with Learfield IMG College for sponsorship representation of its portfolio of collegiate events.
Tickets for the Jerry Colangelo Classic and Basketball Hall of Fame Showcase will go on-sale to the general public on June 27 via all Ticketmaster locations and the Talking Stick Resort Arena box office. Citi is the official presale credit card of the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic. As such, Citi cardmembers will have access to purchase presale tickets on June 25 and 26. Game times and television broadcast information will be released at a later date.
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