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Eagles set to play in Cancun Challenge

    Tournament officials announced Georgia Southern as one of the eight teams selected to compete in the 2013 Men’s Cancun Challenge, played at the all-inclusive Aventura Palace resort near Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
    The Eagles are part of the Mayan Division which features Bowling Green, Oral Roberts and Presbyterian College. Each contest in the Mayan Division will be televised on ULive. The Rivera Division features Old Dominion, St. Louis, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
    “We are very excited to participate in the Cancun Challenge,” said Head Coach Mark Byington. “We are fortunate to be in a basketball tournament with such great teams and it will help to prepare us for the SoCon schedule. One thing I wanted to do with our program is take it to other parts of the world and we have done just that with our trip to Cancun.”
    The tournament format includes eight games played in the United States (Nov. 21 and 23) where the four teams in the Riviera Division host the four schools in the Mayan Division. The Eagles are set to visit ODU and West Virginia in the opening weekend of the tournament. All eight teams then travel to Mexico for two games played in their respected divisions (Nov. 26-27). All four games of the Riviera Division will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network.
    The Cancun Challenge is regarded as one of the most unique preseason men’s college basketball tournaments. Teams stay at the Aventura Palace and enjoy all the amenities the resort has to offer. A ballroom is converted into an arena, and fans who attend the event get an up-close perspective of their team while enjoying an all-inclusive setting. Previous champions include Vanderbilt (2008), Kentucky (2009), Missouri (2010), Illinois (2011) and Wichita State (2012).
    “We’re excited about this year’s field which will be one of the most competitive since the tournament’s inception in 2008,” said Cancun Challenge Director Brent Amick. “This is a special event for teams and fans and is played in an incredible ocean-front setting in Mexico. Fans making the trip down to cheer on their school will be able to watch great competition while enjoy the warm climate and beautiful beaches of the Riviera Maya.”
    The road trip will be Georgia Southern’s first international trip in program history. The Eagles have traveled to destination tournaments across the country from Alaska to Maine as well as Las Vegas and New Orleans. Last season the Eagles played in the Las Vegas Classic and took an upset win over Virginia Tech in the opening round of games.