Blog Entry

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

Posted on: June 28, 2011 9:59 am
Edited on: June 28, 2011 2:06 pm
 

By Jeff Goodman

I’ve gone ahead and made your life easy, compiling the ultimate checklist of the top non-conference games of the 2011-12 college basketball campaign.

Print this out and keep it around because you won’t want to miss any of these:

TOP 20 NON-CONFERENCE GAMES


1) North Carolina at Kentucky, Dec. 3 -- Nearly everyone will have these two teams at No. 1 and No. 2 in the nation entering the season. Rematch of last year’s Elite Eight contest.

2) Louisville at Kentucky, Dec. 31 -- There’s nothing like a New Year’s Eve tilt between these two rivals. The fan bases despise one another -- and there’s no shortage of disdain between the coaches, either.

3) North Carolina vs. Michigan State, Nov. 11 -- This game will take place in San Diego on an aircraft carrier, maybe even the same one that buried Bin Laden.

4) Duke at Ohio State, Nov. 29 -- This is the top matchup in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. It’ll be interesting to see if the Blue Devils have an answer for Jared Sullinger.

5) Kansas vs. Kentucky, Nov. 15 -- This game is part of the Champions Classic -- a three-year round-robin involving these two programs -- as well as Michigan State and Duke. It’ll take place at Madison Square Garden this year.

6) Vanderbilt at Louisville, Dec. 2 -- Vandy has everyone back, and this is Kevin Stallings’ best chance to contend for a Final Four. Rick Pitino’s team has a blend of experience and talented young freshmen.

7) Memphis at Louisville, Dec. 17 -- The former C-USA rivalry has been renewed, and the timing is ideal – as both programs have no shortage of talent.

8) Florida at Ohio State, Nov. 15 -- It’ll be overshadowed by the Champions Classic, but this is one of the best early games of the year. The Gators are loaded on the perimeter; the Buckeyes just remain loaded.

9) Duke vs. Michigan State, Nov. 15 -- This is the undercard in New York at the Champions Classic, and it involves arguably the two best active coaches in the game: Mike Krzyzewski and Tom Izzo.

10) Florida at Syracuse, Dec. 2 -- Billy Donovan has stepped up his schedule and will travel to the Carrier Dome, where Jim Boeheim has had pretty good success over the years.

11) Xavier at Memphis, Feb. 4 -- Two of the elite non-Power Six programs square off with two of the rising, young coaches in the game: Xavier’s Chris Mack and Memphis’ Josh Pastner.

12) Ohio State at Kansas, Dec. 10 -- The Buckeyes travel to Phog Allen and face a Jayhawks team that many figure to be down.

13) Wisconsin at North Carolina, Nov. 30 -- This is another intriguing ACC-Big Ten matchup that involves two of the elite veteran coaches, Bo Ryan and Roy Williams. It’ll also feature two of the top point guards, Jordan Taylor and Kendall Marshall.

14) Gonzaga at Xavier, Dec. 31 -- Here’s another terrific New Year’s Eve contest, this one involving a pair of the top non-Power Six programs.

15) Cincinnati at Xavier, Dec. 10 -- This probably should be even higher with both teams ranked, the proximity and the hatred between fan bases and coaches.

16) Texas A&M at Florida, Dec. 17 -- Maybe I’m nuts, but I’ve got the Aggies -- despite a coaching change -- as a legitimate Top 15 club. Texas A&M will face another Top 15 team: Florida, in Sunrise at the Orange Bowl Classic.

17) Marquette at Wisconsin, Dec. 3 -- Another big-time, in-state rivalry with both programs likely being in the Top 25 this season.

18) Xavier at Vanderbilt, Nov. 28 -- This could be a matchup of Top 10 teams. Xavier is led by Tu Holloway while Vandy has a strong trio of John Jenkins, Jeff Taylor and Festus Ezeli.

19) Florida State at Florida, Dec. 20 -- It’s a familiar theme among the top non-league games. A pair of Top 25 teams close in proximity that don’t care much for one another.

20) Butler at Indiana, Nov. 27 -- Hoosiers coach Tom Crean will have some pressure this year -- and if he doesn’t win, many feel as though the guy on the other sideline, Brad Stevens, will eventually take his job.

Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: June 29, 2011 12:55 pm
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

Nice to see the Louisville-Memphis rivalry renewed. It goes back a lot farther than C-USA. Hope they can keep that going for a while.

I'm with you.  This is a game that needs to be played every year.  What they should do is move it permantently to Nashville.  It's halfway for both schools.



Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: June 29, 2011 12:44 pm
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

 I actually liked Louisville until they hired Tricky Ricky.  It became obvious to a tremendous extent that UL basketball only exists because of the fact they're jealous of UK  I had tons of respect for Denny Crum.  I have none for Tricky Ricky (as in what the prostitutes call him).  

So, my guess is you weren't a UK fan when Pitino coached there?  Also, you berate someone for making a generalization and dumb comment, yet you post that Pitino is involved with prostitutes?  Again, I think if you are going to play the high and mighty card, you should keep your post that way.  I'd take lessons from ukfan68, I'm convinced he is a lawyer.



Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: June 29, 2011 12:41 pm
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

It's really people like you that have turned me against UL.

I understand your reasoning when it comes to the post that I believe you are referring too.  Just don't believe that stupid comments like this don't exist on both sides of the rivalry.  Much like you dislike your fan base being labeled a racist, I grow tired of hearing that 19 year old kids are "thugs" because of the color of their skin and their affection for tatoos.  



Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: June 29, 2011 12:34 pm
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

It became obvious to a tremendous extent that UL basketball only exists because of the fact they're jealous of UK 

I know, because without UK, UL basketball can't stand on their own.  No tradition, none of their own national championships, tournament wins, final fours, nothing.  It's all because of the extended jealously of UK.



Since: Jun 29, 2011
Posted on: June 29, 2011 11:55 am
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

WVU, I don't blame you for not liking Xavier, as whenever we play you, Xavier prevails. No other team has more elite 8 appearences than Xavier in the last 5 years, and as likely top 10 team, it's refreshing to see a team like Xavier on CBS rather than your UNC's or West Virginia's who always have a high preseason ranking but end up being terrible.



Since: Sep 14, 2009
Posted on: June 29, 2011 11:35 am
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

so happy this rivalry is back on!!!!!!!!!!!! now if uk would play memphis then we could get something good going:)



Since: Jan 14, 2008
Posted on: June 29, 2011 10:54 am
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

Looks like Carolina and Texas have agreed to a home and home series as well starting this season.



Since: Jan 28, 2010
Posted on: June 29, 2011 10:21 am
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

I agree... this should have made the list.  Even if it replaces the Marquette vs. Wisconsin game.



Since: Oct 25, 2007
Posted on: June 29, 2011 8:17 am
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

Nice to see the Louisville-Memphis rivalry renewed. It goes back a lot farther than C-USA. Hope they can keep that going for a while.

And can you ladies (action83, kentuckybull, random UK fans) please stop bickering? Thanks.




Since: Jun 25, 2008
Posted on: June 29, 2011 7:58 am
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

Xavier is in a lot of these games because they will be ranked an are playing a monster OOC schedule. Should be interesting to see how they do next year.


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