The 2023-24 Auburn basketball season, for some reason, will begin at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on November 7 facing the 2020-21 NCAA Champion Baylor Bears; a neutral site matchup that can only be described as funky.
As vice president of Sanford Sports Jesse Smith relayed, South Dakota residents are diehard fans of the sport. The hope from Smith is that those from the Mount Rushmore State will fill up the arena for this cross-conference showdown.
Auburn basketball fans are a traveling bunch, so a trip to brutally low temperatures during winter’s beginning months could be a bone-chilling experience for those looking to do something different.
Auburn basketball head coach Bruce Pearl embracing the opportunity to play Big 12 powerhouse
Bruce Pearl was adamant about how great of an opportunity the Tigers will have to open the 2023-24 college basketball season in facing Scott Drew’s Baylor Bears.
“What a great opportunity to play a perennial Top 10 program with a great coach like Scott Drew,” Pearl said (h/t AL.com). “Our guys came to Auburn and the SEC, to play against the very best. We will get to see right away where we are as a team. A marquee matchup like this, playing a guaranteed Quad 1 opponent, will help us build our potential tournament resume and get us prepared for league play.”
The Tigers will have a number of non-conference neutral site games on their schedule during the upcoming campaign. That includes facing Indiana in Atlanta for the 2023 Holiday Hoopsgiving and the four-team Legends Classic at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn November 16-17 with a field of possible opponents that include Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, and St. Bonaventure.
The other notable non-conference matchup will be a continuation of the SEC-Big Ten rivalry that has begun on the gridiron the past two seasons between AU and Penn State.