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2017 Paradise Jam Bracket Released

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Who will Wake Forest play in the first round?

NCAA Basketball: Clemson at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 Paradise Jam Bracket was released today. The tournament will be in the U.S. Virgin Islands on November 17th-20th, 2017. The first round is on November 17th, while the semifinals will be November 19th, and finals on November 20th.

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons will face off against the Drake Bulldogs in the first round in the final game of the opening night.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons is effectively the 1 seed in this tournament, with only one other “power conference” team in it being Colorado from the Big 12.

Oddly enough, if Wake Forest takes care of business against Drake they will face either Colorado or Quinnipiac.

The top of the bracket features Mercer vs. Liberty and Drexel vs. Houston.

Quite frankly the way the teams are matched up is odd. I would have expected Wake and Colorado to draw different sides of the bracket for this one, with Houston going on Colorado’s side.

Wake will likely have to beat the best two teams in the tournament to win it all, which shouldn’t be tremendously difficult. As we saw a few weeks back on Selection Sunday, these early season games can go a long way in determining the fate of a team, so maybe playing both Colorado and Houston will pay dividends come next March.

The final 2016 rankings in KenPom of the field are below:

36. Wake Forest

52. Houston

72. Colorado

145. Mercer

211. Liberty

250. Drexel

258. Drake

294. Quinnipiac

Houston or Colorado will pose the biggest threat to Wake Forest in this tournament. Colorado loses four seniors off of a 19-15 NIT squad from this year, while Houston loses senior sharpshooter Damyean Dotson from a 21-11 NIT team.

Creighton knocked off Ole Miss 86-77 last year to claim the Paradise Jam title.

While this isn’t anywhere close to a great tournament field, it will be a good early test for a John Collins-less Wake Forest to see what it has for the 2017-18 season. I expect at least a finals berth, and hopefully to come back with a title in this one.