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Report: Auburn basketball to play in Orlando bubble in early tournament

Report: Auburn basketball to play in Orlando bubble in early tournament

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Devan Cambridge dunks the ball while the Tigers jump with him before the team's game against Iowa State on Jan. 25 in Auburn Arena.

AUBURN --- The Auburn men’s basketball team is part of plans to play a drastically altered Orlando Invitational in a bubble like the NBA’s this season, according to national college basketball reporter Jon Rothstein.

Rothstein reported Tuesday that eight non-conference tournaments scheduled for this year plan to move to Orlando following the success of the NBA’s bubble there. The games will be played without fans, according to a Rothstein source. More games could also be added between teams while in the bubble, Rothstein reported.

Auburn is one of eight teams invited to play in the Orlando Invitational this year. While the location change wouldn’t be drastic for Auburn or the other teams in the tournament, it would be for teams in tournaments like the Champions Classic originally scheduled to be played in Chicago and the Diamond Head Classic originally scheduled to be played in Hawaii, now aiming for Orlando.

The NBA restarted its season using facilities in Orlando to create a bubble minimizing exposure to COVID-19, and has made it well into the postseason successfully.

Auburn was originally named part of the Orlando Invitational last November. The other seven teams in the original eight-team field are Michigan State, Gonzaga, Xavier, Belmont, Boise State, Saint Louis and Siena.

The other tournaments Rothstein reports are eyeing Orlando not previously mentioned are the Jimmy V Classic, the Preseason NIT, the Myrtle Beach Invitational, the Charleston Classic and the Wooden Legacy.

The NCAA has yet to publicly announce a start date for college basketball games.

Auburn football opens the season Sept. 26. Auburn soccer brings sports back to campus in the era of social distance on Friday. Seating for the general public will not be made available, with seating only made available for invites from each team and a select few current Auburn University students.

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