MINERS
UTEP to Tackle Tennessee in Battle 4 Atlantis

Justin Crosgile


Justin Crosgile

Nov. 26, 2013

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UTEP (3-2) joins Iowa, Kansas, Tennessee, USC, Villanova, Wake Forest and Xavier in the third edition of the Battle 4 Atlantis. The games will be played at the 3,900-seat Imperial Arena on Paradise Island in Nassau, Bahamas.

The past Battle 4 Atlantis champions were Harvard (2011) and Duke (2012).

The Miners will face Tennessee (3-1) on Thanksgiving (Nov. 28) at 7:30 p.m. MT. The game will be nationally televised on the NBC Sports Network.

UTEP is 2-1 all-time when playing on Thanksgiving Day. The Miners beat Jackson State at the Haskins Center on Nov. 25, 1999 (74-58) and Saint Mary's (Calif.) on Nov. 27, 2008 in Anaheim (75-62. UTEP lost to Oklahoma (68-61) on Nov. 22, 2012 in Orlando.

UTEP will take on either Iowa or Xavier on Friday, Nov. 29 at a time to be announced.

The Miners are participating in a Thanksgiving tournament for the third time in four years under coach Tim Floyd. UTEP played in the Legends Classic in Atlantic City in 2010 and the Old Spice Classic in Orlando in 2012. Overall this is UTEP's fourth Thanksgiving tournament in the last six years, including the 76 Classic at Anaheim in 2008.

UTEP is 5-6 in neutral site games under Floyd, including 1-4 in Thanksgiving tournaments.

This is the second meeting between the Miners and the Vols.

UTEP, then known as Texas Western College, beat Tennessee 77-57 in a Sun Carnival Classic Tournament game on Dec. 28, 1962 in El Paso.

UTEP is facing an SEC opponent for the third year in a row, all in holiday tournaments. The Miners beat Auburn, 83-76, in the 2011 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic over Christmas, then lost to Vanderbilt, 73-49, at the 2012 Old Spice Classic over Thanksgiving.

UTEP's Tim Floyd is coaching against Tennessee for the first time.

Although Floyd and Tennessee's Cuonzo Martin have never coached against one another, they did cross paths twice when Martin was playing at Purdue.

On Dec. 8, 1993, Martin's Boilermakers topped the New Orleans Privateers, coached by Floyd, 84-82 in overtime. Martin made two free throws with 17 seconds left for an 83-82 lead after Glenn Robinson fouled out early in OT. Martin scored 15 points in the game.

On Nov. 27, 1994, Martin's Boilermakers slipped past the Iowa State Cyclones, also coached by Floyd, 88-87 in OT in the championship game of the Big Island Invitational in Hilo, Hawaii. Martin made two free throws with eight seconds left in overtime and totaled 29 points.