The Vanderbilt Commodores basketball team will play the Butler Bulldogs in the Las Vegas Invitational this Thanksgiving, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reports.
Arizona will play Santa Clara and Butler will face Vanderbilt in first round of the 2016 Las Vegas Invitational, sources told @CBSSports.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 27, 2016
Both the Commodores and Bulldogs have been traditional private school powers and nearly perennial NCAA Tournament teams. Vanderbilt had already announced the team would play in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational, taking place at Orleans Arena on Nov. 24-25. The matchup with Butler will be part of a group of four teams that make the trip to Vegas after preliminary games played at team sites.
It should be one of the biggest challenges for a Vanderbilt team that is returning nine players from last year, but loses leading scorers Wade Baldwin and Damian Jones, who both entered the NBA Draft this year as early entrants.
New coach Bryce Drew certainly has a big challenge ahead of him in having some of these young players take a step up after last year’s NCAA Tournament trip and, now, in facing off with Butler early in the season. The Bulldogs made the NCAA Tournament last year as a nine seed and return several key players.
It is a marquee game, though, for the Commodores in their non-conference schedule and should be a fun matchup for them to play during the Thanksgiving break.