Illini get Hoyas in Gavitt Games

Illini get Hoyas in Gavitt Games

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois will get an early test against a high major opponent before heading to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational. A warm-up, of sorts, for a serious challenge in the early part of the season.

Pairings for the fourth annual Gavitt Tipoff Games were announced Tuesday afternoon. Illinois will face Georgetown at State Farm Center in one of the first games of the series on Nov. 13, with Wisconsin playing Xavier the same day.

Illinois and Georgetown last played during the 2005-06 season. The Hoyas boasted future first round picks Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert, but the Illini turned 16 points from Dee Brown and a 10-point, 13-rebound double-double by James Augustine into a 58-48 victory at then Assembly Hall.

The Illini are 1-1 in the Gavitt Tipoff Games, losing during the inaugural year at Providence and beating DePaul last season. Illinois did not participate in the 2016-17 season, with Big Ten teams playing a minimum of four times in the eight-year series that runs through 2022.

Georgetown went 15-15 last season with a 5-13 record in Big East play during former Hoyas great and NBA All-Star Patrick Ewing's first season as coach. The Hoyas started the year with a 10-1 record — losing only to Syracuse — but went 5-14 from the end of December through an opening-round loss in the Big East tournament in March.

Illinois is coming off a 14-18 season in Brad Underwood's first year as coach. The Illini finished 4-14 in the Big Ten and lost in the opening round of the Big Ten tournament to Iowa.

Other matchups on the Gavitt Tipoff Games schedule include a national title game rematch between Michigan and Villanova on Nov. 14 in Philadelphia along with Seton Hall playing at Nebraska and Marquette at Indiana that day. Ohio State will play at Creighton and Penn State will face DePaul in Chicago on Nov. 15, while the final game will see St. John's play at Rutgers on Nov. 16.

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