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Wisconsin Badgers to face Tennessee in Maui Invitational opener

The Badgers will face Tennessee in a quarterfinal game at the Maui Invitational.

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

After making a second half turnaround and deep run in the NCAA Tournament, the Wisconsin Badgers have the chance to win a number of quality non-conference games to start the season. The Badgers are part of the 2016 Maui Invitational and it was recently announced that they will face the Tennessee Volunteers in the opening game of the invitational.

Win or lose, Wisconsin would advance to play either Georgetown or Oregon. On the bottom portion of the bracket, Oklahoma State and UCONN will battle while North Carolina and Chaminade round out the eight-team field.

Games will be played from November 21-23, with a champion being crowned on the 23rd. All but one of the tournament's games are scheduled to be aired on ESPN2; the seventh palce game will be aired on ESPNU.

Following back-to-back Final Four appearances, the Badgers stumbled out of the gate in the 2015-2016 season, losing to the likes of Western Illinois, Milwaukee and Marquette. The Badgers began their conference slate of games by losing four of their first five games, only to win seven straight and finish the year tied for third in the Big Ten at a 12-6 mark.

Wisconsin knocked off Pittsburgh and Xavier in thrilling finishes before losing in similar fashion to Notre Dame in the Sweet 16.

Following Nigel Hayes withdrawal from the NBA Draft, the Badgers will return each player from last year's team minus rarely-used senior Jordan Smith.

In other non-conference games, the Badgers will host Syracuse in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and battle Creighton on the road in the Gavitt Tipoff Games. Wisconsin will also host Oklahoma and travel to Marquette this season, giving the Badgers plenty of opportunities to build a strong resume throughout the first two months of the season.