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St. Louis U. v  Duquesne

St. Louis University head coach Travis Ford. Photo by Chris Lee, clee@post-dispatch.com

St. Louis University will play Florida State, which reached the Elite Eight in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, in the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic in Sunrise, Fla., said a source, who confirmed that a contract for the game has been finalized.

The game will be played Dec. 22 at the BB&T Center, the home of the NHL's Florida Panthers.

The game appears to be the final major addition to SLU's 2018-19 schedule, which also includes Seton Hall (road), Pittsburgh (neutral), Butler (home), Houston (road) and Southern Illinois Carbondale (road).

Florida State has been listed in several early preseason rankings after beating Missouri, Xavier and Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament before losing to Michigan. The Seminoles were 23-12 overall and 9-9 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. NBC Sports and CBS Sports have them at No. 14 in their early projected rankings.

The Orange Bowl Classic, which will also include Florida playing an unknown opponent, is said to be an important event to Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton. The Seminoles are building a strong schedule for a team that will have lofty expectations. Last year they lost to Oklahoma State in Sunrise 71-70 to fall to 7-2 in the event.

In building a schedule designed to boost SLU's RPI, coach Travis Ford has at least nine games, including Atlantic 10 foes, who finished in the top 100 of the RPI last season. The Billikens finished 17-16 and at No. 153.