Fox To Carry Paradise Jam Finals

FAYETTEVILLE -- If Arkansas does what coach Stan Heath hopes it does at the season-opening Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands, Razorback fans will have to miss the first half of a Monday Night Football matchup between New England and Kansas City.

Fox College Sports and tournament organizer Basketball Travelers, Inc. announced plans Friday to televise both the consolation game and the championship game of the Paradise Jam on Nov. 22.

The consolation game will begin at 4:30 p.m. and the championship game at 7.

Most cable systems in Arkansas do not carry Fox College Sports, but Paradise Jam spokesperson Jenn Ashby said Fox Sports Midwest was considering picking up the games and it is likely Fox Sports Southwest -- carried on many cable systems in Arkansas -- will pick up the game if the Razorbacks are involved.

Arkansas plays Winthrop Nov. 19 and Troy Nov. 21 in the St. Thomas bracket with an off day in between to avoid a conflict with the Arkansas-Mississippi State football game.

The St. John's bracket includes Saint Louis, Austin Peay and Heath alma mater Eastern Michigan.

All three games will be carried by the Arkansas Radio Network with the first two tipping off at 7 p.m.

The best two records from two rounds of pool play meet in the title game, the third- and fourth-best in the consolation game after tiebreakers.

Should Arkansas make the finals, it will be the first of four broadcasts on Fox Sports and the 18th regional broadcast overall between Jefferson Pilot and the Arkansas Razorback Sports Network.

Arkansas will play on national television on ESPN against Illinois in North Little Rock (Dec.), Alabama (Jan. 11) and Mississippi State (March 1) and on CBS against Kentucky (Jan. 29).

The four national broadcasts of Arkansas home games are a step up from its lone appearance last year against Illinois in Chicago.

"We've been real thankful television has been able to give our program exposure," Heath said. "It gives us a chance to be viewed by people across the region and across the country. The decision by Fox to pick up the Paradise Jam is another opportunity for our fans and people around the nation to see Razorback basketball."

Although Razorback fans are some of the best travelers in the nation, most of those RVs aren't going to make it across the Caribbean for the start of Arkansas' season.

"I'm sure our fans are very curious to see how we've progressed," Heath said. "They want to see the new guys and they want to see how the players we have coming back have gotten better.

"We're excited and our fans are as well."

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