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Oregon St. Hoops Headed For Hawaii For Christmas

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The Oregon St. men's basketball team will be spending Christmas in Hawaii this winter, and will be playing in the 5th. Annual Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic while they are there.

The 8 team tournament, hosted by the University of Hawaii at their Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, will also feature Boise St., Iowa St., George Mason, St. Marys', and Akron (the Beavers' first opponent) all teams that won more than 20 games last season, as well as South Carolina.

First round games are all on Sunday, Dec. 22, starting with Iowa St. and George Mason, at 12:30 PM in the islands.

The Beavers start with the Zips from the MAC in the second game, which will begin shortly following the opener, at or shortly after 2:30 (4:30 PST on the west coast). All first round games will be carried on ESPNU, with subsequent games on either ESPN2 or ESPNU (except the 7th place game, which will be streamed on ESPN3 Christmas morning).

The second round will be played on Monday, Dec. 23, with Oregon St. playing at either 11:30 AM PST (yes, at 9:30 in the morning locally!) if they lose to Akron, or at or shortly after 1:30 PM PST, against either Iowa St. or George Mason.

The teams get Christmas eve off, with the final games on Christmas day.

Teams and fans have the opportunity on Christmas eve to take in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl as well.

Here's the bracket, complete with tv coverage and start times (in local time; add 2 hours for west coast broadcast start times.

"This is an excellent field and a great opportunity for our team," Oregon St. head coach Craig Robinson said. "We hope Beaver fans will find a way to spend the Christmas holiday in Hawai'i to support our team in this outstanding tournament."

Here's more from Coach Robinson:

The list of previous winners includes USC in the inaugural tournament in 2009, followed by Butler in 2010, Kansas St. in 2011 and Arizona in 2012.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com