Loyola announced earlier this season it would compete in the 2015 Great Alaska Shootout, and the entire field for November’s event was released Friday.
Joining the Ramblers are Middle Tennessee, Drexel, Toledo, San Diego, San Jose State, UNC-Asheville and host Alaska-Anchorage in the eight-team field. The three-round event will take place Nov. 24-28 at Alaska Airlines Arena in Anchorage.
Loyola, which just finished its best season since 1985 with 24 wins and a CBI championship, figures to be one of the early favorites in this field.
Of the eight teams, the Ramblers were the third-best in this past season’s Kenpom.com rankings. While Toledo and San Diego, the two ranked ahead of Loyola, each lose several key pieces, the Ramblers return four starters and most of their bench.
Middle Tennessee, which won 19 games last season, should also be an improved squad with five of its top six scorers set to return.
The Great Alaska Shootout used to be one of college basketball’s premier early-season tournaments but has declined in relevance recently. The 2015 field will be the third time in the last five years with no team from a Power 5 conference or the Big East presence.
The tournament will mark Loyola’s first-ever trip to Alaska.