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View Full Version : A Fond Farewell To The Great Alaska Shootout



Akzag
11-20-2017, 08:48 PM
It's a bittersweet Holiday Hoops week for me this year, as it has been announced that the 40th Great Alaska Shootout, will also be the last.

Without getting into the politics and economics of the decision, I'm just proud that UAA and the community were able support it this long.

I remember attending an early edition of the tourny on Ft. Richardson at Buckner Fieldhouse. At the time, the largest "gym" in Anchorage was at my future high school, but the largest auditorium in town was just across the foyer ... And it had a history of hosting "The Nutcracker" during the same weekend. The two events could not coexist on the same campus.

A few years later, it moved into the newly completed Sullivan Arena. More recently, it moved again - this time to UAA's overdue on ( or near ) campus Alaska Airlines Arena.

One year, I worked it as a high school student. For the championship game, I was on the Seton Hall bench. PJ Carlesimo yelled at me during a timeout. My brush with fame.

As it grew from an experiment to Thanksgiving tradition, eventually becoming a premier early season tournament, it faced many challenges ... Perhaps its biggest, was merely being a survivor during what became an oversaturated holiday schedule.

So, thank you GAS for the memories. I'll probably post some links and more memories over the week.

Akzag
11-21-2017, 02:09 AM
https://www.adn.com/sports/uaa-athletics/2017/11/20/after-40-years-the-final-buzzer-will-sound-for-the-great-alaska-shootout/

https://www.adn.com/sports/uaa-athletics/2017/11/19/great-alaska-shootout-tips-off-for-one-last-time/

Akzag
11-21-2017, 02:38 AM
Interestingly enough, Division I basketball will return to Anchorage ... Specifically, back to Buckner Fieldhouse on the now JB Elmendorf Richardson in the form of the Armed Forces Classic (2019). Guess who one of the invited teams is?

Kemo 1966
11-25-2017, 07:41 AM
UAA surprises Santa Clara, plays College of Charleston for Consolation. [4th place/6th]

Central Michigan plays UC @ Bakersfield (BAKO) for the title..... should be a 'low scoring game'... imo

https://sports.yahoo.com/alaska-anchorage-downs-santa-clara-78-73-ot-073524939--ncaab.html

CDC84
11-28-2017, 08:46 AM
For a time, this may have been the greatest holiday tournament ever. They produced some fields that were stunning.

kitzbuel
12-04-2017, 03:18 PM
This was the tournament that launched the Zags '99 run. I remember my attention being caught when they beat Clemson for the championship.

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Akzag
01-16-2018, 07:38 AM
This was the tournament that launched the Zags '99 run. I remember my attention being caught when they beat Clemson for the championship.

Sent from my XT1710-02 using Tapatalk

To be honest, thanks for the sentiment, but that is inaccurate. The GAS eventually inspired UA Fairbanks to launch a copycat tournament which was the Top of the World Classic, site of the GU - Clemson game. Sadly, the GAS didn't invite the Zags until after the run began ( losses to Dwayne Wade's Marquette and Knight's Texas Tech ).

I'm certainly not THE expert on this, but Chaminade ( Maui ), UAA ( GAS), and UAF ( ToWC) were the only Div II teams to take advantage of early loopholes ( and probably the only ones eligible to pull this off ). Those three tournaments helped finance the schools' entire athletic departments over the years, especially once TV got involved. I'm guesstimating months after seeing the stats, but Chaminade has pulled off roughly a mid-teens win total in 30 odd years. UAA averaged right under a victory per GAS over 40 years. Chaminade had its #1 Virginia / Ralph Sampson upset. UAA's GAS victories were not as storied, but were more numerous and included victories over a Tim Duncan Wake Forest team.

The ToWC died several years back. Now the GAS is gone. And Chaminade is now being squeezed out of the Maui ( every other year? ). IMO, the ToWC was a victim of the oversaturation of tournaments. They were a late comer to the party, and one of the first casualties. The GAS remained a major tournament while ESPN was involved with it, but the Worldwide Leader created the Orlando and Anaheim tournaments which were in direct competition with the GAS. It never recovered.

Again IMO, the Maui Invitational will never truly be in danger of folding. It is Hawaii, which is hard to compete with, period. But, Alaska, and to an even greater extent Maui, had the advantage of playing games that fit into time slots available to ESPN. The "continental" games were done for the day, and ESPN had room for west coast or more western time zones, games. With Chaminade's involvement being now decreased, Maui only grow in stature.

Akzag
01-16-2018, 08:04 AM
For a time, this may have been the greatest holiday tournament ever. They produced some fields that were stunning.

a link to the tournament results over the years ... http://www.goseawolves.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=13400&ATCLID=657891&SPID=6647&SPSID=61512

just a brief consultation of the all-tournament teams also listed, provides us with a few ESPN analysts as well as a few more current coaches. And a pretty good all-time team.

( the WCC has had pretty good representation over the years. I believe one of the latter requirements that the NCAA required of the GAS was that each conference had to be represented at least once over X years [10 years?]. )