KU men’s basketball to face North Texas in opening round of ESPN Events Invitational on Nov. 25

photo by: Associated Press

Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji drives to the basket in front of Iowa State guard Jaden Walker, left, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, in Ames, Iowa. Kansas won 64-50. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The Kansas men’s basketball team will face North Texas in the opening round of the ESPN Events Invitational on Nov. 25 in Kissimmee, Fla., the network announced Thursday.

KU is one of eight teams playing in the Thanksgiving-week event, which will feature three games in four days.

The game time is set for either 1 or 1:30 p.m. that day and the winner will advance to the 12 p.m. semifinal on Nov. 26 against the winner of the Dayton-Miami (Fla.) first-round contest.

The championship game is set for Nov. 28 at a time yet to be announced.

The Mean Green won the Conference USA tournament title last season to earn an automatic bid to the 2021 NCAA Tournament. While there, they upset Purdue in the first round to deliver the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament victory.

UNT had not been in the NCAA Tournament since 2010.

The Mean Green then lost to Villanova in the second round in Indianapolis and finished the season at 18-10 overall.

North Texas, which is coached by fifth-year head coach Grant McCasland, will return roughly half of its roster from last season, including 2020-21 starters Thomas Bell and Mardrez McBride.

The matchup will mark the second-ever meeting between UNT and KU. The Jayhawks won the first meeting, 93-60, in Nov. of 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

On the other side of the bracket, an Alabama squad that is expected to enter the season in the top 10 of the national polls will face Iona and Belmont will take on Drake in the other opening-round contests.


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