BASKETBALL: Jackets Invade Las Vegas

The Georgia Tech's men's basketball team is on the road for the first time this season, facing three games in the Las Vegas Invitational starting with Eastern Illinois, the defending Ohio Valley Conference champions today at 3 PM.

First off, they're playing the games in a high school gym --Valley High School. The games were to be played at Paris Hotel and Casino but the NCAA frowned on the obvious college athlete-gambling connection.

Second, the Jackets come into Vegas already having lost one game in the deal, Monday's 79-74 defeat versus Penn in Atlanta.

So now Tech will play three games in three days in the actual Las Vegas part of the round robin tournament. There are eight teams in the field. After each team has played three games, opponenets for the fourth game will be determined by the standings in each four team bracket.  After opening with Eastern Illinois today, the Baby Bees meet Big Ten stalwart Illinois. On Saturday, the Jackets will play either Hartford, Iowa State, St. Louis, or Southern Illinois.

Of course the big question on everyone's mind: Why are there three schools from Illinois in this eight team round robin event? I really don't know.

But the Jackets will get valuable experience in a short period of time as they attempt to play more a more complete brand of basketball than they efforted against Penn, when they went cold on both offense and defense for a five minute period in the second half and saw a double digit lead become a double digit deficit.

Eastern Illinois features junior forward Henry Domercant, the nations leading returning scorer.


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