Northwestern's Non-Conference Basketball Schedule is Out

Quit getting all excited about football! We know who Northwestern is going to play in basketball! The non-conference schedule is hot off the presses, so let me yell about it. 

Overall, we knew this year's sked would be better than last year's simply by the addition of a) a better non-conference tournament, the Charleston Classic b) Georgia Tech and Creighton on the road rather than at home and c) Baylor. The rest of the games are rather tune-uppy, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing: it'll help the Cats get the wins they need to look decent going into conference play. That said, they once again leave themselves in a scenario where without a great schedule, every non-cupcake game becomes uber-important.

Hit the jump. 

Exhibition: Nov. 7, vs. Robert Morris.

Ahh, the annual Robert Morris exhibition game. A Northwestern tradition unlike any other. I'll miss it when I graduate.

Nov. 13, Texas Pan-American. 

Last year's Kenpom ranking: 332.

The Broncs! Our good friends at UTPA are back on the schedule again presumably as part of the deal that saw NU head down to the Rio Grande Valley last year. They won't make NU's RPI look too good, but they've proved a good opener and gave NU a run for their money two years ago. Good for NU to get a win out of the way before the Charleston tourney. This is the day after NU plays Rice, so they can share a flight back to Houston together!

Nov. 17-20: Charleston Classic

We've talked about this. Good stuff.

Nov. 25: Stony Brook

Last year's Kenpom ranking: 216

What better way to spend your Thanksgiving weekend than checking out NU taking on the Seawolves? You'll remember Stony Brook for graciously hosting the women's lacrosse rendition of the Wildcats and their 2011 National Championship. Expect me to make jokes about how much I hate Long Island. 

Nov. 29: @Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Ga.

POTENTIALLY LOSABLE GAME TAG

Last year's Kenpom ranking: 89

The Yellow Jackets hopefully won't be a pushover like last year in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge game. Actually, scratch that, it would be nice if they were a pushover again. Oddly enough, this game will be in Philips Arena, where the Hawks play, rather than the Alexander Memorial Coliseum on Georgia Tech's campus. Seems unnecessary. (Ed. note: GTech's home court is undergoing renovation apparently.)

Dec. 2: Mississippi Valley State

Last year's Kenpom ranking: 310

It's not a Northwestern season without dipping into the ol' bag of SWAC.

Dec. 4: Baylor

POTENTIALLY LOSABLE GAME TAG

Last year's Kenpom ranking: 77

Probably the most intriguing home non-conference game Northwestern has played in my time at Northwestern. Perry Jones III will be playing his first game of the season against NU. In case you're wondering, the Bears are fresh off a trip to Canada that saw them lose to Belgium, of all things.

Dec. 15: Texas Southern

Last year's Kenpom ranking: 280

Double-dip into the bag of SWAC.

Dec. 17: Central Connecticut

Last year's Kenpom ranking: 161

They were a decently good Northeast Conference Team. One of the tastier cupcakes you'll see.

Dec. 18: Eastern Illinois

Last year's Kenpom ranking: 299

It might seem a little strange to play back-to-back games unless you're in a tournament, in fact, it is. But I don't think it will hurt NU - EIU isn't much on the basketball court. The basketball Cats will be dueling the football Cats for margin of victory points.

Dec. 22: @Creighton, Omaha, Neb.

POTENTIALLY LOSABLE GAME TAG

Last year's Kenpom ranking: 95

NU's final non-con game pits them against a team they didn't really struggle against last year, but this time they'll be on the road against a typically strong mid-major.

VITAL STATS:

Home games: 7

Road games: 2

Neutral site: 3

Top 100 Kenpom teams (not including Charleston): 3

100-200 Kenpom teams (not including Charleston): 1

200-300: 3

300-below: 2

SWAC on: a hundred thousand trillion 2

Devils: 2 (Central Connecticut Blue, Mississippi Valley State Delta)

Texans: 3 (Baylor, Texas Southern, Texas Pan-American)

Directions: 3 (Eastern Illinois, Texas Southern, Central Connecitcut)

 

So there you have it. If NU wins their preseason tourney and takes two-out-of-three from Baylor, Georgia Tech, and Creighton, you're looking at an 11-1 team with wins over a few decent squads. I approve of that concept.

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