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Northwestern men’s basketball releases its 2018-19 non-conference schedule

The Wildcats will be getting comfortable at Welsh-Ryan Arena — they don’t have a single true non-conference road game scheduled

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Northwestern Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern’s 12-game non-conference slate is solidified, the program announced Wednesday afternoon.

The Wildcats will return to Welsh-Ryan Arena on Nov. 2 to face Division II opponent McKendree University in an exhibition game. The season begins in earnest with a matchup against New Orleans on Nov. 8. Home games with American and Binghamton follow, before Northwestern heads to California for Thanksgiving weekend.

The Wildcats will play Fresno State in the first round of Wooden Legacy Tournament, before facing the winner/loser of La Salle and Miami. Northwestern will play one more game in the Wooden Legacy Tournament before heading back to Evanston to host Georgia Tech in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Nov. 28.

Per the press release, Northwestern will then play two Big Ten conference games, between Nov. 30 and Dec. 5. Last season, Northwestern played Illinois and Purdue before they had completed their non-conference schedule.

Northwestern will close conference play with four consecutive home games, including two matchups with Power Six opponents in DePaul and Oklahoma. Chicago State and Columbia round out the non-conference slate.

What stands out right away is the lack of road games. The only time Northwestern will leave Evanston is for the Wooden Legacy Tournament. Last season, Northwestern played three true non-conference road games, going 1-2. In 2016-17, they lost to Butler in their only true non-conference road matchup.

Northwestern also gets Georgia Tech, DePaul and Oklahoma in Evanston — it faced all three power conference teams on the road last year.

Here’s the non-conference schedule in full: