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Auburn Basketball will play event in Vegas

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Auburn basketball will join Oklahoma State, Oregon State and Tulsa in Las Vegas for the MGM Grand Main Event, head coach Bruce Pearl announced on Thursday. All four teams which Auburn will play, which will also include home games against Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Louisiana as a part of the tournament, played in the postseason a year ago.

"There are several NCAA Tournament teams in this field that will challenge us early," Pearl said. "I'm hoping that the MGM Grand and a pre-Thanksgiving tournament will attract Auburn fans to travel out with the team."

Auburn, Oklahoma State, Oregon State and Tulsa will play Nov. 24 and 26 in Las Vegas, with the match-ups yet to be determined. Auburn will play host to Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Nov. 14 and Louisiana on Nov. 21 at the Auburn Arena.

Oklahoma State went 21-13 last season, advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season and the 16th time in the past 24 seasons. Last season the Cowboys averaged 80.2 points per game while allowing just 69.6 ppg. Auburn and Oklahoma State last met in 2006 in the South Padre Invitational at South Padre Island, Texas.

Oregon State will be in its first year under head coach Wayne Tinkle, who took over a team that went 16-16 last season and played in the College Basketball Invitational. Auburn and Oregon State have never faced each other on the hardwood.

Tulsa went 21-13 last season and played in the NCAA Tournament after finishing in a four-way tie for the Conference-USA regular season title and winning the league tournament. Tulsa is under the direction of new head coach Frank Haith, who made the move from Missouri following last season. Auburn is 2-0 all-time against Tulsa, with Auburn defeating the Golden Hurricane, 74-55, in the 2009 NIT.

Auburn will be playing in Las Vegas for the first time since facing UNLV in the Las Vegas Showdown on Dec. 20, 2003.

As part of the tournament, Auburn will open up the 2014 season at home against Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Pearl coached the Panthers from 2001-05, taking UWM to its first appearance in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 2005. In four years as the head coach at UWM, Pearl and the Panthers won a pair of Horizon League titles (2004, 2005) and two Horizon League Tournaments (2003, 2005). They earned NCAA bids twice and played in the NIT in 2004. UWM went 21-14 last season, winning the Horizon League Tournament and earning the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Auburn will also play host to Louisiana as part of the tournament. The Ragin' Cajuns went 23-12 last season, winning the Sun Belt Championship and playing in the NCAA Tournament. Auburn is 5-3 all-time against ULL, with the last meeting coming in 2000 at Auburn.

More details on the event, which is run by bd Global, will be available in July.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Auburn Athletics

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