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The devastation in the wake of Hurricane Maria has forced the relocation of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off basketball tournament, affecting Western Michigan.

The tournament now will be played near Myrtle Beach, S.C., from Nov. 16, 17 and 19.

Coastal Carolina in Conway, S.C., now will play host.

Western Michigan will play a nonbracketed game at reigning Final Four participant South Carolina on Nov. 13, then move on to the tournament in Conway, opening against Tulsa on Nov. 16. The other two games are TBD.

Other teams participating in the tournament include Appalachian State, Boise State, Illinois State, Iowa State and UTEP. Games will be televised on the ESPN family of networks, with the championship game Nov. 19.

Originally, the tournament was to be held at the Coliseo Municipal Tomas Dones in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. The island suffered upward of $100 billion in damage, and mostly remains without power, following the storm.

Soccer state

Don’t look now, but all of a sudden, Michigan is becoming a little bit of a soccer hotbed — and we’re not even talking up about the popularity of Detroit City FC, or the MLS franchise Detroit is likely to be awarded by year’s end.

In the latest men’s collegiate rankings, by the United Soccer Coaches, Michigan State is ranked fourth, Western Michigan ninth and Michigan 20th.

The Spartans (8-1-1) suffered their first loss of the season last week, falling to Akron, but bounced back with a 3-2 victory Sunday at home against No. 16 Ohio State.

The Wolverines (5-3-2) had a road match Sunday, at Penn State. Interestingly, Michigan is unbeaten against teams from outside the state, but winless against teams from in the state, having fallen to Michigan State (1-0, OT), Western Michigan (1-0) and Oakland (2-1).

The Broncos (9-1-1) took their first loss of the season Friday against Portland, and return to action Wednesday at home against Michigan State.

This is a development worth keeping an eye on, as the state has had only two men’s national champions in soccer — both times Michigan State, and both times a share, after ties in the 1967 and ‘68 title matches.

Meanwhile, in the women’s collegiate rankings, Michigan is 15th.

This and that

George Dales, who coached track and field and cross country at Western Michigan from 1953-70, then remained a professor until 1987, died in Kalamazoo at age 96. He led WMU men’s cross country to national championships in 1964 and ’65, as well as a runner-up showing in 1958, and he coached 25 All-Americans — 14 in cross country, and 11 in track and field. Dales earned his master’s degree from Michigan.

... Hmmm. Volleyball is starting to draw some pretty neat fan interest at both Michigan and Michigan State. For Friday night’s victory over Ohio State at Crisler Center, No. 23 Michigan (12-4) drew — get this — a whopping 8,137 fans, more than tripling the attendance record. Then, on Saturday, No. 16 Michigan State (11-2) saw 4,027 fans jam Jenison Field House for its win over Ohio State.

... Eastern Michigan football (2-2) must gut through a tough scheduling stretch if its to make back-to-back bowl games. After losing to Ohio a week ago at home, it set out on a three-game road trip — which began with a tough loss to Kentucky on Saturday. Next up is tough Toledo, then Army, before returning home to face Western Michigan on Oct. 21. It will go nearly a month between home games.

... Detroit Mercy men’s and women’s basketball will host “Hoop Night in The D” at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 at Calihan Hall, a fan kickoff, of sorts, for the men’s and women’s basketball teams. The event is free, and will feature food and drink for neighborhood restaurants.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/tonypaul1984

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