Last updated: 03:18 PM ET, Mon October 03 2016

Hard Rock Riviera Maya Preps for Cancun Challenge NCAA Basketball

Hotel & Resort | All-Inclusive Hard Rock Hotels | Dawna L. Robertson | September 29, 2016

Hard Rock Riviera Maya Preps for Cancun Challenge NCAA Basketball

The Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya will be singing a different tune this November when it welcomes the 2016 Men’s and Women’s Cancun Challenge basketball tournament. Considered one of collegiate basketball’s most unique events, the annual sporting event welcomes play in the resort’s convention center ballroom that is converted into a basketball arena to provide fans a special close-up view of the action.

Upon arrival, fans and teams are treated like rock stars with the practices, games, world-class entertainment and unlimited dining/drinks. Previous champions include Vanderbilt (2008), Kentucky (2009), Missouri (2010), Illinois (2011), Wichita State (2012), Wisconsin (2013), Northern Iowa (2014) and Maryland (2015).

The 2016 men’s’ field will showcase the hoops talents of Auburn, Purdue, Texas Tech and Utah State in the Riviera Division, with Eastern Kentucky, Georgia State, Idaho State and New Jersey Institute of Technology comprising the Mayan Division. The former division’s games will be televised on CBS Sports Network, while Mayan competitions can be viewed on YouTube Live. All games are aired in Eastern Standard Time, with the home team listed second.

Tuesday, Nov. 22

NJIT vs. Georgia State, 12:30 p.m.

Idaho State vs. Eastern Kentucky, 3 p.m.

Texas Tech vs. Auburn, 6 p.m.

Purdue vs. Utah State, 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 23

Mayan Division Third Place Game, 12:30 p.m.

Mayan Division Championship, 3 p.m.

Riviera Division Third Place Game, 6 p.m.

Riviera Division Championship, 8:30 p.m.

Women’s Round-Up

Slated for Nov. 24-26, the 2016 Women’s Cancun Challenge takes a slightly different format from the Men’s event.

The four-team Mayan Division field that includes Northeastern, Stanford, Purdue and Wichita State will battle in a round-robin format by playing the other three teams across the Thanksgiving Holiday break. Playing two games each in the Riviera Division will be Davidson, Idaho State, Iowa, James Madison, Toledo and UCLA.

It’s no surprise that teams jump at the chance to return to the Yucatan for this competition that was rated as a top-five tournament in 2014 by Sports Illustrated. Among the women’s squads making repeat trips are Iowa, Idaho State, Purdue and Wichita State.

As with the men’s tournament, all games are played in Eastern Standard Time.

Thursday, Nov. 24

Northeastern vs. Stanford, 11 a.m.

Wichita State vs. Purdue, 1:30 p.m.

Davidson vs. Toledo, 4 p.m.

JMU vs. Idaho State, 6:30 p.m.

UCLA vs. Iowa, 9 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 25

Stanford vs. Wichita State, 11 p.m.

Purdue vs. Northeastern, 1:30 p.m.

Idaho State vs. Davidson, 4 p.m.

Toledo vs. UCLA, 6:30 p.m.

Iowa vs. JMU, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 26

Northeastern vs. Wichita State, 11 a.m.

Stanford vs. Purdue, 1:30 p.m.

Just off the Caribbean Sea’s azure waters, Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya appeals to both adult and family travelers with its varied resort experiences. The resort’s 1,264 lavishly appointed guest rooms feature terrace/balcony views and sky terrace options with hydro tubs in each individual room.

The all-inclusive haven is a perennial crowd-pleaser with its eight bars/lounges, nine world-class restaurants and to 88,915 square feet of state-of-the-art function space.

Travel Packages

Fans are advised to reserve packages that include airport transfers, accommodations, tournament admission, resort credits, plus admittance to the tournament banquet attended by players and coaches. Diehards should note that game admissions without purchasing a tournament lodging package will require a separate entry fee, with seating on a space-available basis.

Available from Triple Crown Sports, packages provide perks that include a four-night minimum stay with the option to purchase additional nights.

Seating is limited for this exclusive event, and fans should book land travel packages through Triple Crown Sports for admission into games in Mexico. Travel packages are the only way to guarantee admission to games at this time. For travel package information, contact Sarah Sullivan by phone at 970-672-0533 or by email at, or visit the website at 


You may use your Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook information, including your name, photo & any other personal data you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on Click here to learn more.

Sandals Resorts: The 5-Star Luxury Included Resorts

Hotels & Resorts