CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — No. 16 Virginia Tech and No. 23 Purdue will get their strongest tests of the early season when they play in the Charleston Classic this weekend.

The eight-team field features five teams that played in the NCAA Tournament a year ago.

The Hokies (1-0) of the Atlantic Coast Conference open play Thursday against Ball State (1-1). The Boilermakers (2-0) of the Big Ten Conference begin action later in the day against Appalachian State (1-1).

Other games in the first round include Alabama (2-0) of the Southeastern Conference against Northeastern (1-1) and Wichita State (1-1) against Davidson (2-0).

Virginia Tech is expected to continue to be without suspended senior forward Chris Clarke. He was suspended indefinitely by the school last month.

Purdue leans heavily on Carsen Edwards, the junior guard who was first-team All-Big Ten selection a season ago. He's picked up where he left off this season as he's scored 30 and 23 points in the Boilermakers' two victories.

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