MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The University of Minnesota basketball team learned Wednesday morning it will face a national powerhouse Syracuse in the opening round of the Maui Invitational in Hawaii.
The Gophers, under the direction of first-year coach Richard Pitino, will face the Orange at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 25 in a game that will be televised nationally on ESPN 2. Minnesota has faced Syracuse one other time, beating them 82-75, in the Sweet 16 of the 1990 NCAA Tournament.
The true opener for Minnesota in the Maui Invitational is actually Nov. 19 as the Gophers host Coastal Carolina at Williams Arena, but it doesn’t have tournament implications for Hawaii. The match-up against Syracuse is in championship bracket play.
Minnesota returns its top two scorers, Andre Hollins and Austin Hollins, from a 21-13 squad that reached the NCAA Tournament last year and beat UCLA in the opening round before losing to Florida in the round of 32.
In other opening games, Arkansas faces California, host Chaminade faces Baylor and Dayton takes on Gonzaga.