Cancun Challenge schedule set, Purdue to open with Illinois State

College Sports

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Tournament officials have announced that Purdue will take on Illinois State in the opening round of the Cancun Challenge on Tuesday, Nov. 24, in Melbourne, Florida.

The other side of the bracket will pit Clemson vs. Mississippi State with both contests being aired on the CBS Sports Network. The Boilermakers and Redbirds will tip off at 6 p.m. ET.

In addition, officials have announced that Purdue will host Rider in a preliminary game in Mackey Arena on Friday, Nov. 20.

The trip marks Purdue’s second appearance in the Cancun Challenge. The Boilermakers defeated Utah State and Auburn to win the 2016 event. With the tournament’s announcement of moving the event to Florida, it is the second straight year that Purdue’s non-conference tournament has been in Florida (2019 Emerald Coast Classic in Destin).

Purdue leads the series with Illinois State by an 8-0 advantage, but hasn’t faced the Redbirds since the 2001 NIT, won by Purdue 90-79.

Clemson leads the series with Purdue by a 3-2 margin (last meeting: Nov. 28, 2012), while Purdue and Mississippi State have met just once, a 77-46 Purdue win on Dec. 28, 1984.

Purdue also leads the series with Rider, the lone contest being an 81-77 Purdue victory on Nov. 17, 2013.

This year’s tournament will be played at Eastern Florida State College in Melbourne, Florida. Details on tickets, hotels and fan packages are still to come. Fans are asked to refrain from booking lodging until team hotel and other amenities are announced. The Cancun Challenge will return to the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya in 2021.

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