The Sun Bowl Association and WestStar Bank are pleased to announce the teams coming to El Paso for the 57th Annual WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, which will be held in the Don Haskins Center, Friday and Saturday, Dec. 21-22.
The four-team tournament includes two top-100 (RPI) teams and a former UTEP-conference rival from the Western Athletic Conference. Wyoming returns to El Paso for the holiday tournament and joins East Tennessee State, Norfolk State and home team, UTEP on the hardwood.
”We appreciate all the hard work that the Sun Bowl committee puts into hosting this tournament, and finding quality opponents to compete in it year in and year out,” said UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry.
East Tennessee State is making its first appearance in the oldest collegiate holiday basketball tournament in the nation, while Wyoming is making its second appearance.
The first time the Cowboys played in the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational was in 2007, going 1-1 that year. This is Norfolk State’s third appearance in the Invitational after making it to the championship game in 2015.
The Miners have played in every tournament since it began in 1961.
”We are thrilled about this year’s field. We are hoping to continue our plan of bringing in the best teams we can find,” Sun Bowl basketball committee chairman Barry Kobren said. “East Tennessee posted an RPI of 92 and Wyoming finished with an RPI of 98 last year. With the addition of new UTEP head coach Rodney Terry and some great recruits coming to El Paso, this looks to be a very competitive tournament once again.”
The North Dakota State Bison defeated the UTEP Miners 63-51 in the championship game of the 2017 WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational to take home the hardware on Friday, Dec. 22, 2017 in the Don Haskins Center. NDSU used a 19-2 scoring run during the final seven and a half minutes of the game to secure the victory. Guard Paul Smith, who was awarded the Barry Kobren Most Valuable Player Trophy, led all players with 19 points. Sophomore guard Tyson Ward, who was named to the all-tournament team, tallied 10 points and 11 rebounds. ”This tournament has become a tradition and the history of teams and players that have come through El Paso is tremendous,” Sun Bowl Association Executive Director Bernie Olivas said. “Our basketball committee, which is led by Barry Kobren, continues to seek out and work towards bringing quality teams to the Don Haskins Center and El Paso.”