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Reports: Arizona State to face Northern Iowa in Puerto Rico Tip-Off opener

The Panthers are the third team on Arizona State's non-conference schedule to have made the NCAA Tournament last March.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona State Sun Devils will battle the Northern Iowa Panthers in the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off next November, according to both ESPN and CBS Sports.

The game will be played on November 17 in San Juan, with exact start time and television arrangements still to come. Arizona State will then face either Oklahoma or Tulane the following day before finishing the tournament on the 20th against one of four teams (Clemson, Davidson, Xavier, and Missouri).

With the addition of Northern Iowa to the 2016-17 non-conference slate, the Sun Devils are now assured of facing three teams that played in last March's NCAA Tournament before they even start Pac-12 play.

We last saw the Panthers leave the court in heartbreaking fashion as Ben Jacobson's team blew a 12-point lead with just 40 seconds remaining in regulation against Texas A&M. The Aggies eventually prevailed in double overtime, clinching a spot in the Sweet Sixteen to complete one of the biggest comebacks in sports history.

The maroon and gold will get either Oklahoma or Tulane in their second game in Puerto Rico, and the difference in talent between those two teams is wide. The Sooners won 29 games and made it all the way to the Final Four last season, while the Green Wave finished the year 12-22. Facing Oklahoma would definitely improve an already assuredly-high RPI and SOS standing for Bobby Hurley's team.

Hurley's second season in the desert will begin on November 11 against Portland State, with practices beginning at a date still to be determined in October.