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Rainbow Classic field is announced

Arkansas-Pine Bluff, North Dakota and Troy will be the first three opponents for the University of Hawai’i basketball team for the 2017-18 regular-season schedule. Those games will be part of the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic, November 10, 12 and 13 at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The specific order of the first three opponents for Hawai’i will be announced later. The Warriors played both Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Troy last season in the Sheriff Center.

The November 13 game will likely be a late-night game as part of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon.

Here is the official announcement from www.hawaiiathletics.com

HONOLULU – The University of Hawai’i released the field for the 2017 Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic set for Nov. 10, 12, and 13 at the Stan Sheriff Center. Joining Hawai’i in this year’s edition of the Classic will be Arkansas-Pine Bluff and 2017 NCAA Tournament squads North Dakota and Troy.

The Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic will officially open UH’s 2017-18 season. The ‘Bows will take on Arkansas-Pine Bluff on the opening night of the round-robin tournament. UH will then face North Dakota on Nov. 12, before concluding the Classic against Troy on Nov. 13.

“The Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic has been a fan favorite for more than 50 years” head coach Eran Ganot said. “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.”

This will be the 53rd year of the tournament and 22nd under the sponsorship of Outrigger Resorts.

“The Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic has enjoyed a rich history and we’re proud to have played a role in that history for more than 20 years,” said Sean Dee, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Outrigger Enterprises Group. “We look forward to help making this year another memorable tournament experience for the fans, coaches, and student-athletes.”

The Rainbow Warriors, who return four starters from last year’s squad (14-16), will face an early-season test with this year’s Classic. Last year North Dakota enjoyed a magical season, winning both the Big Sky regular-season and tournament titles en route to its first NCAA Tournament bid. The Fighting Hawks finished the season with a 22-10 record, the most wins for the program in its Division I era.

Troy also compiled a 20-win season (22-15) in 2016-17 and made its second-ever NCAA Tournament appearance after capturing the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. One of the Trojans’ wins last year came in Honolulu, when they defeated UH in a 65-63 nail-biter.

Arkansas Pine-Bluff will be making the their third appearance in the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic and sixth appearance overall at the Stan Sheriff Center. UH defeated the Golden Lions, 66-44, in a non-conference game last season.

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