The Baha Mar Hoops Bahamas Championship pits four Power 6 teams together looking to prove themselves early in the season.
- Georgia (2-1)
- Kansas State (2-1)
- Miami (Fla) (3-0)
- Providence (3-0)
First Round (Friday, Nov. 17):
- Miami vs. Georgia – 3:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
- Kansas State vs. Providence – 6 p.m. (CBSSN)
Consolation Game (Sunday, Nov. 19)
- Miami/Georgia loser vs. Kansas State/Providence loser – Noon (CBS)
Championship Game (Sunday, Nov. 19):
- Miami/Georgia winner vs. Kansas State/Providence winner – 2:30 p.m. (CBS)
Georgia had an underwhelming 2022-23, finishing 16-16 and towards the bottom of the SEC. Head coach Michael White looks to turn it around in his second season, and guard Jabri Abdur-Rahim has been the catalyst as the only Bulldog averaging double-digit points through three games.
If there’s one thing Georgia does well, it’s getting to the line. The team averages over 24 free throws per game, hitting just under 70% of them. Attacking the rim is the key for the Bulldogs, but they’ll have to earn every point.
The Wildcats will certainly give Miami a run for their money. Jerome Tang had a ton of success in his first year at the helm, notching 26 wins in a season that ended in the Elite Eight. After a tough loss to #21 USC in the season opener, Kansas State turns their attention to Baha Mar to get back on track.
North Texas transfer Tylor Perry is picking up right where he left off, averaging 20+ PPG through the first three games. He and guard Camryn Carter have brought most of the scoring early on, and forward David N’Guessan has been a menace on the offensive glass. It’s a well-spread attack for the Wildcats, a serious threat for Miami.
Jim Larrañaga and the Hurricanes are coming off their first Final Four appearance in program history and are looking to replicate last season’s success. Forward Norchad Omier enters the season as one of the nation’s premier big men, averaging a double-double in each of his first three college seasons. He and guard Wooga Poplar have gotten off to a strong start in 2023-24.
Miami returns a solid core and picks up Florida State transfer Matthew Cleveland to even more scoring to a stacked starting lineup. Nigel Pack steps up to take over from former ACC Player of the Year Isaiah Wong at the point, and the Hurricanes don’t give up much in that area. Miami’s tough to bet against.
Ed Cooley’s departure to Georgetown paved the way for Kim English to take over head coaching duties. A former NBA player and A10 head coach at George Mason, English looks to continue the success his predecessor left behind. A 3-0 start, including a win over Wisconsin, is a great way to get his tenure started.
The Friars are an elite rim-protecting team, ranking 10th in the nation in blocked shots. They also protect the ball extremely well, having only turned the ball over 16 times per game. It’s a team effort for Providence, as it usually is. They’ll be contenders in the Big East again.
Baha Mar Hoops Bahamas Championship Predictions
First Round: Miami vs. Georgia
Miami is one of the nation’s best 3-point shooting teams, going 50% from deep as a squad. They hit over half of their shots from the floor overall, and they’re a top-10 team in blocked shots. They don’t foul often either, the one thing that would’ve kept it close with the Bulldogs.
It’s an unfortunate draw for Georgia. Miami is a defensive juggernaut and has an elite offense to match. It will be a tune-up game for the Hurricanes as they await the winner of the next game.
First Round: Kansas State vs. Providence
Providence is a great defensive team inside, averaging 7 blocks per game. That’s not the problem with Kansas State, however. The Wildcats are 18th in the nation in 3-point percentage, hitting just over 38% of their shots. Providence has that covered, too; Opponents shoot 22% from deep.
This one will be closer than people expect. It’s got “upset” written all over it. But Kansas State already had its gut punch early on. They’re headed to the Baha Mar Hoops Bahamas Championship finals.
Kansas State wins
Consolation Game: Georgia vs. Providence
The second day of games is going to be a lot more evenly matched. Georgia and Providence have nearly identical early-season stats. The one place they differ: the 3-point line. Providence shoots at a higher clip, and Georgia doesn’t defend the deep ball well.
It’s just a tough field for the Bulldogs. Unless the Friars go cold, Georgia goes home with a couple of losses and some quality bulletin board material.
Championship Game: Miami vs. Kansas State
Everyone saw this coming from the start. Two deep-run tournament teams going at it just eight months later. Both teams shoot well, both teams defend well, both teams share the ball, and both teams hit their free throws. This could be an early nominee for “Game of the Year.” So let’s get specific:
In the final minutes, Norchad Omier will pick up his fourth foul and be forced to back off defensively. Kansas State uses this to shift the momentum and attack the rim, cutting the deficit to a two-possession game. Miami turns the ball over with about a minute to go and the Wildcats hit a three to make it a one-point game. The fouling game ensues and eventually Kansas State is down 3 with the final shot. They get a guy open… and miss it.
…or none of this happens and Miami still takes it.