Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Six MW teams in prestigious 2016 Palm Springs field

In 2016 -- for the first time -- the prestigious Mary Nutter Classic in Palm Springs will expand to two weekends, back to back.

During the weekend of February 19-21, a smaller scale tournament with 19 teams will showcase itself at the Big League Dreams complex just outside Palm Springs in neighboring Cathedral City.  New Mexico, which surprised many with a winning record and upper-division finish in Mountain West play in 2015, will be the lone MW team to participate in weekend one.  Among the traditional powers joining the Lobos are LSU, UCLA and Arizona.

On the following weekend (February 25-28), a monster field of 28 teams, including a slew of national powers and five Mountain West squads, will enter play at the same complex.  Defending MW champion Fresno State will be joined by San Diego State, San Jose State, Colorado State and Boise State in the event that boasts 2-time defending NCAA champ Florida and 2015 NCAA runner-up Michigan.  Among the other elite teams that weekend in Palm Springs:  Oregon, Oklahoma, Georgia, Missouri, UCLA, Stanford, Washington, Nebraska and many more.

For the complete list of teams participating in the exciting double weekend tourney, go here.

A decade ago, when this tourney was in its early stages, a separate tournament (called the Cathedral City Kick-Off at the time) was held on the opening weekend of the season.  But 2016 will mark the first time the Mary Nutter Classic will take place over two back-to-back weekends.