Dayton announces completed non-conference schedule

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Having reached the NCAA tournament in each of the last two seasons, Archie Miller’s Dayton Flyers will not only be expected to do so for a third consecutive year but they’ll also be one of the favorites in strengthened Atlantic 10. Thursday the program released its non-conference schedule for the 2015-16 season, and the Flyers could face as many as six NCAA tournament teams before the start of Atlantic 10 play.

The most noteworthy matchup is their game at Vanderbilt December 9, with the Commodores boasting a team that’s expected to be among the best in the SEC. There’s also an appearance at the AdvoCare Invitational, where it was reported earlier this week that they’ll open against Iowa in the lone quarterfinal matchup of teams that reached the NCAA tournament a season ago.

Also in that field are Notre Dame, Wichita State, Xavier, Monmouth, USC and Alabama, with games being played November 26, 27 and 29 in Orlando.

Dayton opens up its regular season with games against Southeast Missouri (November 13) and Alabama (November 17), and they could face the Crimson Tide twice this season depending upon how the AdvoCare Invitational bracket shakes out (they’re on opposite sides of that bracket). Dayton also has a game against an opponent yet to be determined November 21.

While the Flyers did lose guard Jordan Sibert from last season’s team, contributors such as Scoochie Smith, Dyshawn Pierre and Kendall Pollard all return and they’ll add both size and depth as well. The dismissal of their two biggest players mid-season led to Dayton playing a seven-man rotation in which none of the players were taller than 6-foot-6.

That won’t be an issue in 2015-16, as Dayton adds Steve McElvene (sat out for academic reasons last season) and freshman Sam Miller to the program. In total the Flyers welcome four freshmen, with Bradley transfer Josh Cunningham having to sit out the 2015-16 season per NCAA transfer rules.

Duke, Louisville and Kansas among Kentucky’s non-conference opponents


Throughout his time as head coach at Kentucky, John Calipari’s put together solid non-conference schedules that help prepare his teams for SEC play and the month of March. The 2015-16 schedule should be no different for a team that lost more than 85 percent of its scoring from last season, with Kentucky releasing its full non-conference slate on Thursday.

Among the teams the Wildcats will play are reigning national champion Duke at the Champions Classic, in-state rival Louisville, Kansas and UCLA. In total, nine of Kentucky’s 12 non-conference games will be played against teams that played in a postseason tournament in 2014-15 with five reaching the NCAA tournament.

“Putting a schedule together, especially one like this, is fun,” Calipari said in the release. “Having to play those games is a different story. To understate it, this will obviously be a challenging schedule for a young team like ours, which lost more than 85 percent of its scoring and nearly 80 percent of its rebounding. We’re excited for the challenge.”

Kentucky will open its regular season with games November 13 and 14 at Rupp Arena against Albany and NJIT, with those games being part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic. Then comes the game against Duke November 17 at the United Center in Chicago, which is one of three neutral site games on Kentucky’s non-conference schedule. The other two are against USF in Miami (November 27) and against Ohio State in Brooklyn (December 19).

Kentucky will play just two road games in non-conference play, which tends to be commonplace amongst major conference programs. The Wildcats visit UCLA December 3, and they’ll visit Allen Fieldhouse to play Kansas January 30 as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Kentucky will also host one of college basketball’s fiercest rivalries, with Louisville making the trip to Lexington the day after Christmas.

Below is Kentucky’s full non-conference schedule, which also includes a game against Bobby Hurley-led Arizona State December 12 in Lexington.

Friday, November 13 vs. Albany

Saturday, November 14 vs. NJIT

Tuesday, November 17 vs. Duke (in Chicago)

Friday, November 20 vs. Wright State

Tuesday, November 24 vs. Boston University

Friday, November 27 vs. USF (in Miami)

Monday, November 30 vs. Illinois State

Thursday, December 3 at UCLA

Wednesday, December 9 vs. Eastern Kentucky

Saturday, December 12 vs. Arizona State

Saturday, December 19 vs. Ohio State (in Brooklyn)

Saturday, December 26 vs. Louisville

Saturday, January 30 at Kansas

Wisconsin’s non-conference slate doesn’t lack for quality matchups


With Ben Brust being the lone departure from a team that won 30 games and reached the Final Four last season, the Wisconsin Badgers are one of the teams expected to contend for a national title in 2014-15. Friday afternoon the school released the non-conference schedule for the upcoming season, and it’s safe to say that the Badgers will be tested once they begin Big Ten play when the calendar flips over to 2015.

Among the games in front of Wisconsin is a home game against Duke on December 3 as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, and that will be their first game following the Battle 4 Atlantis. Wisconsin begins that eight-team event, regarded by many as the premier in-season tournament of the 2014-15 season, with a game against UAB on November 26 and things will only get tougher from there.

Wisconsin will play either Florida or Georgetown on the 27th, with Butler, North Carolina, Oklahoma and UCLA being on the other side of the Battle 4 Atlantis Bracket. The Tar Heels, Sooners and Bruins are all expected to return to the NCAA tournament in 2014-15, and the same can be said of a Florida squad that was the tournament’s top overall seed last year.

Other non-conference games for Wisconsin include road games at Marquette and Cal, and they’ll have two tough home games against Green Bay (which took them to overtime last season) and Boise State.

“Every year it’s our goal to put together a difficult non-conference schedule that will get us ready for Big Ten play,” head coach Bo Ryan said in the release. “Last season we played five teams in the non-con that ended up winning their conference. I think this year’s slate will be another challenging one.”

Wisconsin will play twice within the span of five days in Milwaukee, with their game at Marquette (December 6) preceding a game at Milwaukee on December 10. While Green Bay won the Horizon League’s regular season title in 2013-14 it was Milwaukee that won the conference tournament, earning the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

With forwards Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky back the Badgers will be regarded as the favorite to win the Big Ten, and under Ryan the program has finished in the top four of the Big Ten standings every year that he’s been in charge (since 2001).

Florida State announces non-conference slate that includes Florida, Nebraska

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While Florida State managed to win 22 games last season, Leonard Hamilton’s squad did not achieve its goal of returning the NCAA tournament. Instead the Seminoles were a part of the Postseason NIT field, where they won three games before falling to eventual champion Minnesota in the semifinals.

With guards Aaron Thomas, Devon Bookert and Montay Brandon returning the Seminoles will look to account for the loss of guard Ian Miller and forward Okaro White, and on Thursday the program released its non-conference schedule. Florida State will play three home games against teams that reached the NCAA tournament last season: Florida, Nebraska and Manhattan with the game against the Cornhuskers being part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

In total the Seminoles will play games against NCAA tournament participants Providence and UMass as part of the Naismith Hall of Fame Tipoff Classic in Uncasville, Conn. on November 22 and 23.

“Our non-conference schedule will challenge us, there is no doubt about that,” Hamilton said in the release. “We have always worked to assemble a schedule that will prepare us for our ACC schedule and we have done that again this season.

“We will play teams from ten different conferences so we will see a variety of styles of play which will certainly prepare us for the ACC which is the best conference in college basketball history.”

In addition to their perimeter returnees, Florida State will also add shooting guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes to the mix. Rathan-Mayes was forced to sit out last season after the NCAA did not clear him academically, and he’s expected to factor into the Florida State perimeter rotation immediately.