Hawaii men’s basketball: 2020 Diamond Head Classic field revealed

The 2020 edition of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic features two past champions.

Just as the 2019 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic tipped off, the 2020 edition of the field was revealed.

The 12th edition of the ESPN-run tournament features two past DHC champions (Oklahoma and San Diego State), two more past visitors (Saint Mary’s and Western Michigan), three first-timers (Temple, Arizona State, Seattle University) and the host (Hawaii).

The event will again be held on Dec. 22, 23 and 25. The dates have yet to stray.

It would appear to be a very solid field. Presently, here’s how the programs break down in terms of KenPom rating and record:
19 — San Diego State (12-0)
26 — Saint Mary’s (12-2)
49 — Oklahoma (8-3)
62 — Temple (8-3)
88 — Arizona State (8-4)
158 — Hawaii (7-3)
256 — Seattle U (6-7)
275 — Western Michigan (7-5)

Five top-100 teams (three top 50) is nothing to sniff at. You never know from year to year, but there’s a chance some of these teams will be very good by next Christmas.

It continues to be a good sign for the event that it pulls in a couple of Power Five teams a year, and that coaches of prominent programs like OU (Lon Kruger), SMC (Randy Bennett) and SDSU (Brian Dutcher) bring their teams back as soon as they’re eligible to return in the four-year rolling system for multi-team events, or a year or two afterward.

SMC and SDSU will become the first three-time participants, not including UH. The Gaels were supposed to do so last year before scratching their participation.