College Mens Basketball

Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament involving UNI men's basketball moved to Florida

Teams raised concerns about Zika virus

The Northern Iowa Panthers huddle as a team before the start of a 2015 game. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
The Northern Iowa Panthers huddle as a team before the start of a 2015 game. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

The 2016 Puerto Rico Tip-Off college basketball tournament, of which UNI is taking part, is moving out of Puerto Rico due to concerns about the Zika virus, according to multiple reports.

The eight-team tournament will instead take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla. Arizona State, Clemson, Davidson, Missouri, Northern Iowa, Oklahoma, Tulane and Xavier will remain the participants in the event, which takes place Nov. 17-20.

“We enjoy the beauty and accommodations that are afforded in Puerto Rico and wanted to make every effort in playing the event in San Juan, but the concern for student-athlete and spectator welfare became the primary driver in the decision,” ESPN senior vice president Pete Derzis said in a statement. “We intend to return to Puerto Rico in the future.”

Coaches and staffers reportedly expressed concern about traveling to Puerto Rico, where the Zika virus continues to spread.

The Wide World of Sports Complex annually hosts the Advocare Invitational, which Iowa participated in last season. That is scheduled to take place Nov. 24-27.

UNI takes on Arizona State in the Tip-Off quarterfinals, with Tulane and Oklahoma also on its side of the bracket.


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