The Orleans Arena is proud to host the 10th Annual Las Vegas Classic, presented by IBN Sports, on December 22 and 23. For the 2010 tournament, the field includes Indiana University, University of Colorado, University of New Mexico, University of Northern Iowa, Longwood University, South Carolina State University, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and The Citadel.
Indiana University (10-21) makes its first trip to Las Vegas with all five starters returning—junior guard Verdell Jones III (14.9 ppg) and Big Ten freshman of the year forward Christian Watford (12 ppg). The Hoosiers will also welcome back sensational scoring guard, sophomore Maurice Creek (16.4 ppg), who suffered a season ending injury after playing only 12 games his freshman season.
New Mexico is coming off a 30-5 season when it advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1999 and set numerous school records, including most wins. Head Coach Steve Alford was named Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year for the 2nd straight season, as well as finishing 3rd in the balloting for AP National coach of the year. The Lobos return one of the nation’s best point guards in senior Dairese Gary (12.8 ppg.)
The University of Northern Iowa returns two starters and seven of its top 10 scorers from last year’s Sweet 16 appearance. The Panthers won a school-record 30 games in winning back-to-back Missouri Valley Conference regular and tournament titles. Leading The Panthers is senior point guard Kwadzo Ahelegbe (10.6 ppg.)
The University of Colorado returns all 5 starters, which finished 15-16 and had their best season in 5 years. The Buffaloes are led by Big 12 Freshman of the Year Alec Burks, who scored a school freshman record 512 points (17.1 ppg.) All-Big 12 performer senior guard Cory Higgins has led the team in scoring the last two years and he ranks ninth all-time on the CU scoring list (1,391 points).
Each team will play four games—the first two at campus sites and the final two rounds at the Orleans Arena December 22 and 23.
Tickets are on sale now, priced at $110, $65 and $44 for a two-day package, inclusive of tax and fees. Tickets are available at the Orleans Arena Box Office by calling 702.284.7777, by visiting www.orleansarena.com or at the participating schools athletic ticket offices.