Davidson is moving to the A-10 after next season, which is a dramatic scheduling upgrade from the Southern Conference, where the Wildcats have played (with brief breaks) since 1936. According to KenPom.com, the SoCon was the nation’s No. 27 conference last season. The A-10, on the other hand, was a solid No. 8.
You’d think that might be enough of an upgrade for head coach Bob McKillop, but you’d be wrong.
According to the Charlotte Observer, the Wildcats have just finished adding ACC members Duke, North Carolina and Virginia to the upcoming slate. For added degree of difficulty, Final Four participant Wichita State will also be on the docket. Add that to a November date with the Charleston Classic, which includes Clemson, Georgia, New Mexico, Temple and UMass. McKillop is said to be looking for a date with Gonzaga as well.
Granted, those matchups will come in the school’s final season in the SoCon, but McKillop says it’s not a farewell tour so much as a backbone of his scheduling philosophy.
[The Wildcats] have committed to playing each of the three ACC schools in Charlotte once during the next three seasons.
“We’re going to be just as national and just as aggressive and understanding that, yes, the Atlantic 10 is going to be a significant challenge, but we’re still going to be very aggressive and national in scope,” McKillop said in an interview with the Observer.
McKillop has always kept his team tough, playing road games and “neutral” matchups at Greensboro Coliseum and Charlotte’s Time-Warner Cable Arena against the nation’s top teams. Anyone expecting him to back off now that he’s in a tougher league will have another think coming. It’s a pretty wise idea, because the Wildcats are joining a league where at-large consideration will be in the cards every season. Playing cupcakes is a great way to find your team playing wallflower when the Big Dance invites are handed out.
Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.