WestStar Bank and the Sun Bowl Association are pleased to announce the teams coming to El Paso for the 56th Annual WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, which will be held in the Don Haskins Center, Thursday and Friday, Dec. 21-22.
The four-team tournament includes North Carolina-Wilmington, North Dakota State, Howard University and UTEP. This marks the first appearance for UNCW and Howard, the second showing for NDSU and of course the Miners have played in every tournament.
"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. "Two of our teams from last year went on to win their conferences and play in the NIT. We think we will see that same success again this year."
Akron won the 2016 WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational by defeating UC-Irvine in game one and beating Maryland Eastern Shore in the title game. Akron went on to win the MAC regular season title and made it to the second round of the NIT, while UC-Irvine won the Big West Conference regular season title and also made it to the second round of the NIT.
"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 Haskins Center and El Paso."