January 18, 2023
Cancun Challenge reveals 2023 women’s field
2023 field includes four Power Five programs
The Cancun Challenge announced the ten programs that will participate in the 2023 event from Nov. 23-25 in a release on Tuesday.
Of the 10 participants, four are Power Five programs (Maryland, Michigan State, Washington State and Georgia Tech); the other six are mid-majors (Green Bay, UMass, Creighton, James Madison, Montana State and New Mexico).
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The games will take place at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya in the ballroom that converts into a basketball court for the event.
The ten teams are divided into two divisions. The four-team Mayan Division of Green Bay, Maryland, UMass and Washington State will play a three-game round robin over the course of three days. The six-team Riviera Division (Creighton, Georgia Tech, James Madison, Michigan State, Montana State and New Mexico) will play two games each in Mexico.
The event tips off at 11 a.m. ET on Thanksgiving, Nov. 23, with Maryland taking on Washington State.
“Fans making the trip to the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya will not only get the pleasure of enjoying sunny Mexico when it’s chilly back at home,” Cancun Challenge director Sarah Molina said in the release. “They’ll also get to watch some superior basketball, as we will bring another strong group of Power 5 teams and impressive mid-majors looking to make an impact ahead of league and conference action.”
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This will be the 18th year the women’s side of this event is held. In 2022, the Cancun Challenge hosted Florida State, Harvard, Oklahoma State and Purdue in the Mayan Division and Central Michigan, NC State, Northern Iowa, Tulane, Vanderbilt and West Virginia in the Riviera Division.
Nov. 23 and 24 will each feature five games that happen in succession. Meanwhile, on Nov. 25, the four teams in the Mayan Division will play the extra third game.
Triple Crown Sports will sponsor the event.
Written by Eric Rynston-Lobel
Eric Rynston-Lobel has been a contributor to The Next since August 2022. He covered Northwestern women's basketball extensively in his four years as a student there for WNUR and now works as a sports reporter for the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire.