ESTERO, Fla.– Three Top-25 teams highlight the women’s field for the sixth annual Gulf Coast Showcase, the annual men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments played each Thanksgiving at Germain Arena. Texas, Duke and Missouri all finished among the Top-25 at the end of last season and expected to be ranked once again in the pre-season polls.
“This year’s field may be deepest in the six years of the Gulf Coast Showcase,” said Debbie Antonelli, ESPN analyst and Women’s Tournament Director. “Five teams – Quinnipiac, Duke, Texas, Michigan and Missouri – played in the NCAA Tournament with two of those advancing to the Sweet 16. Seven of the eight teams won 22+ games last season and the eighth team, Washington, is two years removed from playing in a Final Four.
“Any of these teams are capable of winning three straight on Thanksgiving weekend so the title is certainly up for grabs this year.”
Texas adds the nation’s No. 2 recruit Charli Collier to a deep front court but will be replacing former Big 12 Player of the Year Brooke McCarty. The Longhorns will open at 5 p.m. on Friday against a Quinnipiac squad that has won three games as a lower seed in the past two NCAA Tournaments and made a run to the Sweet 16 in 2017, losing to eventual champion South Carolina. The second game of the evening session will feature Missouri, led by All-American candidate Sophie Cunningham, versus Michigan at 7:30 p.m. in a match-up of two NCAA Tournament teams from last season.
The schedule for the opening round of the women’s tournament is as follows:
- 11 a.m. ET – Fordham vs. Ball State
- 1:30 p.m. ET – Duke vs. Washington
- 5 p.m. ET – Texas vs. Quinnipiac
- 7:30 p.m. ET – Missouri vs. Michigan
Game times for Saturday and Sunday will be the same with semifinal games on Nov. 24 at 5:00/7:30. Sunday’s championship game will tip at 7:30.
For the fourth consecutive year, the tournament will support the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. The hospital is the only children’s hospital between Tampa and Miami and provides vital health care for the region’s sick and injured children and their families. The hospital’s new $242 million facility provides 300,000 square feet of space, 128 pediatric and NICU beds with space to expand to 160 beds, a 17-bay emergency department, a freestanding pediatric pharmacy and in-hospital school classroom.
Ticket and Fan Travel Information
Tickets for the 2018 Gulf Coast Showcase go on-sale now at GermainArena.com or through Ticketmaster. All-Tournament passes for either the men’s tournament or women’s tournament are available for $74, $99 or $149 per tournament with single session tickets ranging from $10 General Admission to $45 Courtside for each two-game session. Each day of the tournament will feature an afternoon session (starting at 11 a.m.) and evening session (5 p.m.) and tickets will be good for both games of a given session.
Fan travel information, including preferred hotel rates at Hyatt Regency Coconut Point, is available on GulfCoastShowcase.com.