In face of budget cuts, 39th Great Alaska Shootout will take place
An annual tradition will continue.
The University of Alaska Anchorage announced the men’s and women’s fields this morning for the 39th GCI Great Alaska Shootout. With plummeting oil prices and subsequent budget problems, athletic director Keith Hackett has stated since February that everything “was on the table” to be cut including teams and/or the long-running Thanksgiving college basketball tournament.
But the games will go on.
Fields of eight men’s teams and four women’s will play the holiday week at Alaska Airlines Center.
“The 2016 GCI Great Alaska Shootout will continue its recent tradition of featuring the best mid-major programs in college basketball,” said Hackett in a statement. “With recent champions such as Butler, San Diego State, Murray State and Middle Tennessee, the Shootout has proven to be a launching pad for future success. We can’t wait to see who emerges this year.”
Eight of the twelve teams qualified for post-season play with five NCAA Tournament participants (UAA and Missouri State for the women, Buffalo, Iona, and Weber State for the men).
The Seawolf men will face Buffalo on Wednesday, Nov. 23. The women, last year’s NCAA championship runner-up play the night before against Portland.
CBS Sports Network will provide a national broadcast outlet televising seven games including the UAA-Buffalo matchup. GCI, the tournament sponsor and parent company of KTVA, will also televise nine other contests. UAA-Buffalo will be simulcast on CBSSN and GCI.
Lawmakers continue to peck away at a solution to Alaska’s financial woes. It’s unknown how their decisions will affect the rest of the athletic department.
But there will be Thanksgiving basketball again in Anchorage this year.
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