Cats to play in Las Vegas next season

The Las Vegas Invitational has established itself as one of the nation’s premier early season basketball events, and the 2008 field won’t disappoint as traditional powers Kentucky, Kansas State, Iowa and West Virginia highlight the eight-team field.

The 2006 championship game of the Invitational was a thrilling overtime victory by Kansas over eventual national champion Florida, which has gone down as one of the finest games ever played in Las Vegas. The possible matchup this month of preseason top-ranked North Carolina and sixth-ranked Louisville has the makings of another classic.

The rabid following of the Kentucky Wildcats may push the 2008 tournament past 2006 and 2007. It will mark Kentucky’s first visit to Las Vegas in nearly 30 years, when Sam Bowie and Kyle Macy played for the Big Blue.

In addition, the field of eight teams includes Delaware State, Southeast Missouri, Longwood and Oakland. Each team will play four games – the first two at campus sites, and the final two at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas Nov. 28 and 29, 2008.

Participating schools will each have their share of tickets available to sell after the 2007 basketball season is over. But the general public may purchase a limited number of tickets for the final rounds in Las Vegas at the Orleans Arena. For ticket information please contact the Orleans Arena at (702) 284-7777 or on the web at