If Purdue is going to get a matchup with the saucy fellow that is Ronnie Johnson it will have to come in the second game of the Cancun Challenge. The pairings for the event were released earlier on Sunday and the Boilers drew Utah State in the semifinals:
Purdue will play Utah State and Auburn will face Texas Tech in the first round of the 2016 Cancun Challenge, sources told @CBSSports.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 29, 2016
This prevents Purdue from facing at least one team from every major conference (Big East, SEC, ACC, Pac-12, Big 12). Instead, the Boilers will face teams from four of those five. There is also a subplot in game two of the event, as it will be against either Chris Beard with Texas Tech (he was the infamous coach of Little Rock) or Auburn (with the aforementioned Ronnie Johnson).
Purdue has never played Utah State before. It last played Auburn March 20, 2001 when the Boilers won 79-61 at Mackey Arena in the NIT. Finally, Purdue last played Texas Tech December 1, 1988 in a 63-54 win in Lubbock. Purdue is 1-1 all-time vs. Auburn and 2-0 vs. Texas Tech.
On a final note, the season opener will NOT be against SIU-Edwardsville as originally reported:
Purdue basketball has moved the originally contracted Nov. 11 home game with Southern Illinois-Edwardsville back one season due to a scheduling conflict with SIU-E.
November 11: Southern Illinois-Edwardsville
November 14: Villanova (Gavitt Tipoff Games)
November 22: Cancun Challenge vs. Utah State
November 23: Cancun Challenge vs. Auburn, or Texas Tech
November 30: at Louisville (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)
December 6: vs. Arizona State at Madison Square Garden (Jimmy V. Classic)
December 17: vs. Notre Dame at Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Crossroads Classic)
December 19: Western Illinois
December 21: Norfolk State