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The Runnin’ Utes will be in South Dakota this Thanksgiving at season-opening tournament

SHARE The Runnin’ Utes will be in South Dakota this Thanksgiving at season-opening tournament

Utah Utes players cheer as they lead the Washington State Cougars in the final moments of the game at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Utah basketball’s originally scheduled trip to the Bahamas has officially been traded in for a three-day tournament in South Dakota.

The Utes will play in the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic during Thanksgiving week in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the school announced Wednesday. It will serve as the opening of the Runnin’ Utes season, with the NCAA’s decision that set Nov. 25 as the first date games in the 2020-21 college basketball season can be played.

Utah was set to play in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the upcoming season, but it was canceled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Seven of the original eight teams set to play in the Bahamas tournament will play in Sioux Falls at the Sanford Pentagon, including Utah, Creighton, Memphis, Ohio State, Texas A&M, West Virginia and Wichita State.

Dayton replaced Duke in the eight-team field.

A limited number of tickets will be available for each game at the 3,200-seat-capacity Pentagon and will go on sale Nov. 1. Masks are required for each spectator and will be available for free at the arena.

The Utes open the tournament against Creighton on Wednesday, Nov. 25, at 5 p.m. MST on ESPN2. The Blue Jays, who were ranked No. 7 in the final Associated Press poll last season, went 24-7 and won a share of the Big East crown during the 2019-20 campaign. It will be the first meeting between Utah and Creighton since 1941 and just the second matchup all time between the schools.

The Utes will then play either Dayton or Wichita State on Thanksgiving, depending on the opening round of results. Each team is guaranteed three games.