WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today that Purdue will face North Carolina in the 2021 Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament, held Nov. 20-21, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The elite four-team field also consists of No. 2-ranked Villanova and No. 16-ranked Tennessee in ESPN’s “Way-Too-Early” top-25 polls for the 2021 season, in what promises to be one of the best holiday tournaments in the country. The Boilermakers are ranked fifth, while North Carolina is tabbed No. 18.
Pairings, times, television assignments and ticket plans will be made available at a later date. Mohegan Sun Arena seats approximately 6,500 people and is the home of the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun. Nearby airports include T.F Green Airport in Providence (47 miles) and Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut (56 miles). The Naismith Basketball Memorial Hall of Fame is located in Springfield, Massachusetts, (67 miles from Mohegan Sun) and Mohegan Sun itself is a 364,000-square foot casino in Uncasville, Connecticut
This marks Purdue’s second appearance in the Hall of Fame Tipoff Tournament, previously winning the tournament after rolling past Old Dominion (61-39) and Florida (85-70) in November 2015.
The Boilermakers haven’t faced North Carolina since November 1999 and haven’t defeated the Tar Heels since the NIT Tournament in 1974.
Purdue last faced Villanova and Tennessee in back-to-back games during the Boilermakers’ run to the 2019 Elite Eight, defeating the Wildcats 87-61 in the second round, before topping the Volunteers 99-94 in the Sweet 16.
Villanova leads the all-time series with Purdue by a 3-1 margin, Purdue leads the series with Tennessee by a 3-2 advantage and North Carolina owns an 8-2 advantage over Purdue.
The Boilermakers return all five starters from last year’s team that earned a top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament and finished fourth in the Big Ten standings.
Purdue will be looking for its first in-season tournament title since the 2016 Cancun Challenge. Since the 2014 Maui Invitational, Purdue owns a 20-6 record during in-season tournaments.