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K-State Basketball to Open Paradise Jam with George Washington

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— KANSAS STATE ATHLETICS RELEASE —

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KStateSports.com) – Kansas State will take on George Washington to conclude the first round of the 2024 U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam on Friday, November 22, as tournament organizers announced the complete bracket for the tournament on Tuesday morning (July 9).

The annual Paradise Jam will run from Friday-Monday, November 22-25, 2024, at the University of Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. This will mark the tournament’s 24th year with K-State appearing for the third time (2002, 2018, 2024) in its existence, including a championship in 2018.

K-State and the Atlantic 10’s George Washington will meet for the sixth time in their respective histories in the final game of the first day of the tournament at 7 p.m., CT on Friday, November 22. Big South Tournament champion Longwood and AAC Tournament champion UAB will meet in the tournament opener at 11:30 a.m., CT followed by Illinois State and Southland Conference champion McNeese at 2 p.m., CT. Louisiana and Liberty will open the evening session at 4:30 p.m., CT followed by the Wildcats and Revolutionaries.

The K-State/GW winner will advance to face the winner of the contest between Louisiana and Liberty on Sunday, November 24 at 7 p.m., CT, while the two remaining teams will play on Saturday, November 23 at 4:30 p.m., CT.

In the opponent bracket, the winner of the first game between Longwood and UAB will play the winner of the second game between Illinois State and McNeese on Sunday, November 24 at 4:30 p.m., CT, while the two remaining teams will play on Saturday, November 23 at 2 p.m., CT.

The winner of each bracket will face off in the championship game on Monday, November 25 at 7 p.m., CT. There will be three consolation games that will precede the title contest at 11:30 a.m., CT (seventh-place game), 2 p.m., CT (fourth-place game) and 4:30 p.m., CT (third-place game), respectively.

All games will be streamed on ESPN platforms.

Six of the eight teams in the Paradise Jam won 18 or more games in 2023-24, while Longwood, McNeese and UAB all advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

Fan travel packages are currently available via the Paradise Jam website or by clicking here. All packages include tickets, transportation to/from games, a tournament gift as well as dedicated tournament staff at The Westin Beach Resort & Spa at Frenchman’s Reef (can view here).

Tournament capsules
George Washington

  • 2023-24 record: 15-17 (4-14 in Atlantic 10/15th)
  • Head coach Chris Caputo (31-33/3rd season)
  • K-State leads 4-1 (Last meeting: W 67-59/Nov. 14, 2017)

Liberty

  • 2023-24 record: 18-14 (7-9 in C-USA/t-4th)
  • Head coach Ritchie McKay (244-127/12th season)
  • First meeting

Louisiana

  • 2023-24 record: 19-14 (10-8 in Sun Belt/5th)
  • Head coach Bob Marlin (266-189/15th season)
  • K-State leads 1-0 (Last meeting: W 66-63/March 15, 1973)

Illinois State

  • 2023-24 record: 15-17 (9-11 in Missouri Valley/t-7th)
  • Head coach Ryan Pedon (26-38/3rd season)
  • K-State leads 2-0 (Last meeting: W 83-79/March 18, 2009)

Longwood

  • 2023-24 record: 21-14 (6-10 in Big South/t-5th – NCAA Tournament)
  • Head coach Griff Aldrich (109-86/7th season)
  • K-State leads 1-0 (Last meeting: W 89-60/Dec. 5, 2005)

McNeese

  • 2023-24 record: 30-4 (17-1 in Southland/1st – NCAA Tournament)
  • Head coach Will Wade (22-2/2nd season)
  • K-State leads 1-0 (Last meeting: W 74-59/Dec. 21, 2021)

UAB

  • 2023-24 record: 23-12 (12-6 in AAC/4th – NCAA Tournament)
  • Head coach Andy Kennedy (101-37/5th season)
  • First meeting

This will mark K-State’s third appearance in the Paradise Jam with the Wildcats winning the 2018 event with victories over Eastern Kentucky (95-68), Penn (64-48) and Missouri (82-67). The team is 4-2 all-time in the tournament, posting a 1-2 mark in its inaugural appearance in 2002.

Previous winners of the Paradise Jam include Big 12 members BYU (2002), Baylor (2007) and Colorado (2017) as well as Arkansas (2004), Wisconsin (2005), Alabama (2006), UConn (2008), Purdue (2009), Marquette (2011) and Creighton (2016). Last season, Missouri State defeated Abilene Christian, 87-69, in the championship game.

The Wildcats won the Cayman Islands Classic in head coach Jerome Tang‘s first season in 2022 before finishing as the runner-up at the Baha Mar Hoops Bahamas Championship in 2023.

K-State has already announced several aspects of its non-conference schedule, including the BIG EAST/Big 12 Battle at St. John’s on Saturday, December 7 and the Wildcat Classic matchup with Drake on Tuesday, December 17 at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City. Other games will be released in the coming weeks.

In addition to their non-conference slate, the Wildcats will play a 20-game Big 12 schedule that includes 10 home games with NCAA Tournament teams Arizona, Colorado, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas and Texas Tech as well as Arizona State, Cincinnati, Oklahoma State and West Virginia.

K-State finished the 2023-24 season with a 19-15 record, including an 8-10 mark in Big 12 play, and advanced to the NIT. Among the Wildcats’ 19 victories were 4 over Top 25 teams, including 3 in the Top 10. The team has won 45 games in Tang’s first two seasons, including consecutive postseason appearances.

The Wildcats return 3 lettermen (senior David N’Guessan and sophomores Taj Manning and Macaleab Rich) in 2024-25, along with the 10 newcomers, which includes 8 Division I transfers, a junior college All-American (Mobi Ikegwuruka) and a top-50 high school prospect (David Castillo).

The transfer class is considered one of the best in the country and includes notable additions Achor Achor (Samford), Coleman Hawkins (Illinois), Dug McDaniel (Michigan) and Ugonna Onyenso (Kentucky) as well as Baye Fall (Arkansas), Brendan Hausen (Villanova), C.J. Jones (UIC) and Max Jones (Cal State Fullerton).

Season tickets for the 2024-25 season are currently available, with prices starting at less than $18 per game. Fans can purchase now to see the Wildcats all year including matchups against KU, Iowa State, Houston and conference newcomer Arizona by visiting www.kstatesports.com/tickets or calling (800) 221.CATS.

 

How to follow the ‘Cats: For complete information on K-State men’s basketball, visit www.kstatesports.com and follow the team’s social media channels on XInstagram and Facebook.

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