George Mason will play in 2016 Gulf Coast Showcase
At long last, the identity of George Mason’s 2016 early-season tournament has been revealed, as the Gulf Coast Showcase announced their field today. The Patriots join Vermont, Wofford, Bradley, Kent State, South Dakota, Houston, and old CAA rival HofstraÂ in the 8-teamÂ team field. The tournament will be played November 21-23 (the week of Thanksgiving).
George Mason’s first round matchup with Houston (Monday Nov. 21, 7:30 pm) will be a rematch from the 2013 CBI, when the Patriots defeated the Cougars 88-84 in overtime in the quarterfinals at the Patriot Center. Bradley was also a participant in the 2015 Charleston Classic alongside the Patriots, although the teams never met.
— Gulf Coast Showcase (@GCShowcase) June 10, 2016
The Gulf Coast Showcase will be played at the 7,000 seat Germain Arena in Estero, Florida, the home of the minor league Florida Everblades hockey team.Â Located between Naples and Ft. Myers on Florida’s southwestÂ gulf coast, sunny Estero is an appealing destination for fans — especiallyÂ when compared to FairfaxÂ in November.
Weber State won last year’sÂ third annual Gulf Coast Showcase, in a field that also included Duquesne from the A10, as well as Murray State, Milwaukee, Pepperdine, Drake, WKU, and Central Michigan. Past teams in this tournament have frequently scheduled a fourth, “non-bracketed” game, just as George Mason did with Towson last season, so we may see an additional non-conference game announced at a later date. This tournament has focused on giving additional exposure to mid-majors, so the lack of a Power 5-conference team should be seen as no surprise.