HONOLULU – The University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team announced its 2021-22 schedule with its season opening on Nov. 10 with the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic. UH will play nearly a dozen non-conference contests—including a trio of preseason tournaments—before it begins its 20-game slate of Big West Conference games with a return to a traditional home-and-away schedule. In all, UH will play 17 home games at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center, seven of them in non-conference action.
A Welcome Return: Due to COVID, last year’s basketball schedule was devoid of two major preseason tournaments for UH—the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic and Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic…both tournaments return this year during their normal dates….UH will kick off the year with 56th edition of the Rainbow Classic running, November 10, 11 and 13….UH Hilo, Northern Colorado and Pacific join UH in the round-robin field….the ‘Bows will also host the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic during the Christmas holiday (Dec. 22, 23 and 25)…the previously announced field includes BYU, Liberty, Northern Iowa, South Florida, Stanford and Wyoming, and UH’s first-round opponent Vanderbilt.
Viva Las Vegas: The ‘Bows will spend Thanksgiving week at the Las Vegas Classic…UH will take on Illinois-Chicago on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25 and face either San Diego or South Alabama on Friday, Nov. 26…the tournament is at the Orleans Arena…it will be UH’s first preseason mainland tournament since the 2018 Wooden Legacy in Anaheim, Calif which was also a Thanksgiving tournament…UH and San Diego potentially meet up a year after their matchup in the 2020 Rainbow Classic in Honolulu was nixed.
Run it Back: In-state rivals UH Hilo and Hawai’i Pacific are back on the schedule…last year the two schools made up UH’s only non-conference opponents…UH will face UH Hilo for the 13th time in the regular-season and the ninth time in the last 11 years…UH will host HPU in the regular season for the fourth time in the last seven years.
First-Time And Long-Lost Foes: The Rainbow Warriors will face Illinois-Chicago (out of the Horizon League) for the first time since 1990 when they meet in the Las Vegas Classic…the ‘Bows could face South Alabama the next day, a school they haven’t faced since 1973…UH and Vanderbilt will tangle for the first time in 31 years as part of a first-round matchup in the Diamond Head Classic…the teams last met in 1990…UH will have its initial meeting with new Big West conference member UC San Diego (Jan. 15 & Feb. 17)…the teams were originally slated to have their first meeting last February in San Diego before those contests were canceled.
California Dreaming: UH’s only non-conference (true) road game will be Nov. 30 at Santa Clara (WCC)…the teams were scheduled to play last December in California before that meeting was canceled…it will be UH’s seventh all-time visit to Santa Clara with the last coming in 2006…all 11 of UH’s regular-season (true) road games will be in California with 10 coming in Big West play.
Big West Normalcy: The Big West will return to a traditional schedule, as UH will play each Big West team at home and away…UH will open the conference slate at home with games versus UC Davis (Dec. 30) and UC Riverside (Jan. 1)…the ‘Bows will conclude the regular-season on the road with games at UC Santa Barbara (March 3) and CSUN (March 5)…UH has ended the regular-season on the road in each of the last seven seasons.
Viva Las Vegas Part II: The Big West Tournament will be in Las Vegas for the second straight year, but this time in a new venue….after playing in the Michelob ULTRA Arena at the Mandalay Bay Resort, the conference tournament will take place at the Dollar Loan Center in nearby Henderson in March 2022…it will be the first event ever at the brand-new facility.