WSU to play at 2022 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic

Cougars to tip off against George Washington in opening round



WSU forward Mouhamed Gueye (35) drives to the basket past Stanford forwards James Keefe (left) and Spencer Jones (right) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Jan. 13, in Beasley Coliseum.

DAYLON HICKS, Evergreen reporter

WSU men’s basketball announced on Tuesday that they will be traveling to sunny Hawai’i to compete in the 2022 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic at the SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu. The tournament is hosted by the University of Hawai’i.

The teams participating in this tournament are WSU, George Washington, Hawai’i, Iona, Pepperdine, Seattle University, SMU and Utah State.

Three of the teams, including WSU, appeared in the 2021-22 National Invitation Tournament. Iona lost in the opening round and the Cougars defeated SMU in the second round with a 75-63 victory.

In total, WSU holds a 17-14 all-time record against this year’s participating programs.

This season is the third season that WSU travels to Hawai’i competing in the Diamond Head Classic. In 2015, WSU played then No. 3 Oklahoma, Northern Iowa and New Mexico in the tournament. WSU currently has a 92-89 all-time record in regular season tournaments, dating back to the 1954-55 season.

They will tip off the tournament by facing George Washington, Thursday, Dec. 22 at 6 p.m. Pacific. The game is set to be televised on ESPN2 or ESPNU which will be the first meeting between these two teams in program history.

The last matchup where WSU matched up against an Atlantic-10 conference school was in 2017, winning against St. Joseph in the Wooden Classic.

Throughout the tournament, there is a morning session and evening session.

Starting off the morning session, Iona is set to face SMU in the first game of the day at noon Pacific, followed by Seattle against Utah State at 2 p.m. Pacific.

In the evening session, Pepperdine will take on Hawai’i following the WSU-George Washington game at 8 p.m. Pacific.

WSU has a winning record against Hawai’i at 5-1. The last meeting between WSU and Hawai’i was in the Rainbow Classic, Dec. 29, 1991, where WSU had a close win 63-61.

The second day of the tournament starts on Friday, Dec. 23 with Consolation #1 which will set the losing teams of Iona versus SMU and Seattle versus Utah State against each other at 1:30 p.m. Pacific. Semifinal #1, which will include the winners of those two games, will tip at 4 p.m. Pacific.

The last day of the tournament which is set on Christmas Day, Dec 25, will include the seventh and fifth-place games starting at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Pacific  (the order has not yet been decided), followed by the third-place game at 3:30 p.m Pacific Time and finally the championship game at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

The first two of those games will be broadcast by ESPNU and the third-place and championship games will air on ESPN2.

Tickets for the 2022 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic are expected to be on sale in October.