Auburn Tigers men's basketball to play Baylor Bears in Sanford Pentagon

Sanford Health announced via press release that the Auburn Tigers will take on the Baylor Bears in a non-conference matchup at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Nov. 7.

Sanford Health announced Thursday that the Auburn Tigers men's basketball team will take on the Baylor Bears in a non-conference matchup at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Nov. 7.

This marks the second straight year that Baylor will play at the Sanford Pentagon. It will be the first time Auburn plays on Heritage Court.

Auburn vs. Baylor is the third NCAA Division I men’s basketball game announced for the upcoming season at the Sanford Pentagon. Nebraska will take on Oregon State on Nov. 18 and Oregon will face Syracuse on Dec. 17.

“Auburn and Baylor are powerhouse college basketball programs, and this matchup will be an incredible start to the 2023-24 college season at the Sanford Pentagon,” said Jesse Smith, vice president of Sanford Sports, in a press release. “It does not matter where in the country these teams are from – fans in South Dakota love basketball, and they will help make this game a memorable one for the athletes and coaches.”

Auburn is coming off a 21-13 season. They also advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season. Forward Johni Broome was an All-SEC Second Team selection who led the Tigers in scoring (14.2 ppg), rebounding (8.4 rpg) and blocked shots (2.4 bpg) in 2022-23, will return for his junior year.

Former SEC Coach of the Year Bruce Pearl will be at the helm for his 10th season at Auburn. He has led the Tigers to more than 170 wins, the program’s first No. 1 ranking in the national polls and a run to the NCAA Final Four in 2019. This will be the first trip for Auburn to the state of South Dakota.

“What a great opportunity to play a perennial top 10 program with a great coach like Scott Drew,” Pearl said. “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.”

Baylor finished last season with a 23-11 record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bears played in the Sanford Pentagon in 2022 when they defeated Gonzaga 64-63.

Head coach Scott Drew enters his 21st season at Baylor. He's the school's all-time winningest coach and helped lead the team to a national championship in 2022.

“Complete Sports Management and Sanford are the best in the business,” said Drew. “We always enjoy working with them and thoroughly enjoyed our experience at the Pentagon last year. Our game sold out with Gonzaga in six minutes, and the crowd was amazing. We can’t wait to be back there in November.”

This year’s contest will be the eighth time these two teams have met. Baylor holds a 5-2 series lead. The Bears won the last meeting 84-72, on Jan. 30, 2021.

“Bringing national champions and Final Four contenders to the Pentagon is the set standard, and we’re proud to be part of it,” said Lea Miller-Tooley, CEO of Complete Sports Management.

This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Auburn men's basketball to play Baylor in Sanford Pentagon