The Xavier men’s basketball team, one of eight in the 2018 Maui Jim Maui Invitational field, will face Auburn in the first round of the tournament.
The Xavier-Auburn game is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 19 at 9:30 a.m. Hawaii time. It will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern. It will be the first game of the tournament.
Xavier will make its first-ever trip to the event, which will feature eight Division I programs – Arizona, Auburn, Duke, Gonzaga, Illinois, Iowa State, San Diego State and XU – for the first time in its 35-year history.
Xavier’s second game on Tuesday, Nov. 20 will be against the first-round winner of Duke vs. San Diego State, set to tip at noon Hawaii time on Monday.
One of the teams XU could meet is Arizona, led by head coach Sean Miller – a Xavier assistant from 2001 to 2004 and the school’s head coach from 2004 to 2009. The Wildcats ousted Xavier from the NCAA tournament in a 2015 regional semifinal.
“We are honored to be a part of such a talented tournament field,” said Xavier first-year head coach Travis Steele, who was on the XU staff for 10 years previously. “It’s exciting for our players and fans to participate in such a prestigious event for the first time in program history. The tournament adds to our challenging non-conference schedule that will prepare us for the BIG EAST season.”
Xavier and Auburn have met nine times previously in men’s basketball. Xavier holds a 5-4 advantage in the series, including wins in five of the last six matchups. XU defeated AU 85-61 at Cintas Center in the last meeting on Dec. 19, 2015.
Auburn finished 26-8 last season under head coach Bruce Pearl, winning the SEC Regular Season Championship and making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2003. Senior Bryce Brown and junior Jared Harper, the team’s second- and third-leading scorers from a season ago at 15.9 ppg. and 13.2 ppg. respectively, lead the returnees for the Tigers. Brown was a 2018 First Team All-SEC selection.
Xavier guard Quentin Goodin talks about his new head coach, Travis Steele, and his dedication to the program. Sam Greene/The Enquirer
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Xavier to face Auburn in 2018 Maui Jim Maui Invitational first round – then maybe Duke
Xavier will make its first-ever trip to the Maui Jim Maui Invitational.
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