Florida basketball and Xavier to meet in Phil Knight Legacy opening round

·2 min read

The opening-round matchups of the Phil Knight Legacy event in Portland, Oregon, were released on Monday and Florida drew a familiar foe for Thanksgiving Day. The Gators will face off with the Xavier Musketeers, the same team that eliminated UF in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament and went on to win it all in March.

Tip is set for 5:30 p.m. EST on Nov. 24, and the winner will face whoever wins between Duke and Oregon State. Gonzaga, Portland State, Purdue and West Virginia make up the rest of the field.

Florida and Xavier have faced off a handful of times in recent memory, perhaps most notably in the 2019 Charleston Classic championship game. The Gators took that game but they hold a 2-3 all-time record against the Musketeers.

As much of a redemption game as this matchup is for the returning players on the Gators roster, it’s also a chance for St. Bonaventure transfer Kyle Lofton to take revenge on Xavier. Lofton’s 15-point, 11-assist double-double in the semifinals of the NIT wasn’t enough to put the Bonnies over the Musketeers, so he shouldn’t need any extra motivation going into the holiday tournament.

This will also be Todd Golden’s first in a tournament like this with the Gators. A win would not only be good for Golden’s record at UF but it would likely allow the team to test itself against a perenially strong program like Duke or Gonzaga in the later rounds.

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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire