It may be the last of the preconference tournaments, but it won’t be the least exciting.
One team is undefeated and looking to further strengthen its claim as a Top Five team. Another is ready to make yet another statement for the Mountain West Conference and assert its recent dominance over Pac-12 competition.
These two teams—Arizona and San Diego State—will headline this year’s Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii. Both come in as Top 20 teams, and with each on opposite sides of the bracket, are poised to meet in the tournament final on Christmas Day.
However, a third team plans to disrupt those Christmas night plans. They come in a bit under-the-radar but, as a result, could be the most dangerous team in the tournament.
Which team is this—and just how good are its chances of turning some heads in Hawaii? Are any dark-horse teams capable of surprising in this tournament?
The following slides will show each team's projected finish in the Diamond Head Classic, starting with the eighth-place team (losing all three games) and ending with the champion.