Northwestern men's basketball released its 2015-16 non-conference schedule Wednesday, and it continues with the pattern Chris Collins established last season: get early wins for a relatively young team. Northwestern, on paper, should probably be favored in all of its games outside the CBE Classic.
Along with the potential to play two of North Carolina, Missouri and Kansas State in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic, the two toughest opponents on Northwestern's non-conference schedule appear to be Virginia Tech and DePaul, who won a combined 23 games in 2014-15.
Here is the full schedule:
Fri., Nov. 13 -- vs. UMass-Lowell
Wed., Nov. 18 -- vs. Fairfield (CBE Hall of Fame Classic)
Fri., Nov. 20 -- vs. Columbia (CBE Hall of Fame Classic)
Mon. Nov. 23 -- TBD in Kansas City, Missouri (CBE Hall of Fame Classic)
Tue., Nov. 24 -- TBD in Kansas City, Missouri (CBE Hall of Fame Classic)
Sat., Nov. 28 -- vs. New Orleans
Tue. Dec. 1 -- at Virginia Tech (Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
Sat., Dec. 5 -- vs. Southern Illinois-Edwardsville
Sun., Dec. 13 -- vs. Chicago State
Tue., Dec. 15 -- vs. Mississippi Valley State
Sat. Dec 19 -- at DePaul
Mon., Dec. 21 -- vs. Sacred Heart
Sun., Dec. 27 -- vs. Loyola (Md.)
Game times have yet to be announced.
The only part of the non-conference schedule still to be determined is the CBE Classic semifinal matchup. Northwestern will face one of North Carolina, Kansas State and Missouri, and then would play another one of the three in either the final or the third-place game.
Northwestern was not selected for the inaugural edition of the Gavitt Games, essentially the Big Ten/Big East version of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. That should provide some intrigue next year.
As for the conference schedule, we know who Northwestern's Big Ten opponents will be. Dates and times should be released later in the summer.