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: Feb 22, 2011
Posted on: June 28, 2011 4:06 pm
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

What's with all the Xavier games?

And why no mention of the Arizona-Florida game?  How about the Battle in Seattle (Gonzaga-Arizona).  Those teams always play great games.

Oh right, we're supposed to ignore anything that happens west of the Rockies.



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: June 28, 2011 3:11 pm
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

This is what makes college basketball far better than college football. How many of these games other than rivalry games would even be played in college football when one loss could end your season? Do you think the college football equivalents of North Carolina and Kentucky would play in college football on a regular basis? No way. I'd much rather see North Carolina play Kentucky than Florida or Alabama football play some Sun Belt Conference opponent.
So true. In college basketball, Kentucky plays North Carolina, Louisville and Kansas in a span of six weeks. In college football, Michigan had to agree to a home-and-home with Connecticut to open the renovated Big House a few years ago because no other name program wanted to do it, even though the Wolverines promised to return the game, because one loss and the season's meaning is over.

Yet college football fans still try to claim they have the most meaningful regular season in sports. What a joke. These are just the 20 best nonconference games in college basketball. I'm not sure you can find 20 nonconference games worth our time in college football.



Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: June 28, 2011 2:51 pm
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

This is what makes college basketball far better than college football. How many of these games other than rivalry games would even be played in college football when one loss could end your season? Do you think the college football equivalents of North Carolina and Kentucky would play in college football on a regular basis? No way. I'd much rather see North Carolina play Kentucky than Florida or Alabama football play some Sun Belt Conference opponent.




Since: Jun 28, 2011
Posted on: June 28, 2011 2:15 pm
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

I'm a UK fan, but I'm also a college basketball fan. I like it when all the elite schools are on top. All the schools like UK, UNC , DUKE and so on are all back to elite status. U of L returned to elite with Pitino (which I don't dislike because he made a decision based on is life direction and not what UK basketball fans want) We've been missing IU for sometime. It would be nice to see IU back in the elite spectrum. I like IU when they're not playing UK. IU would be foolish to fire Crean. He is doing a good job rebuilding a team that got screwed by another coach. Crean has nabbed his instate talent and to say 2012 is looking good for IU is an understatement. I love college basketball, not just UK. IU returning to status quo will not only bring back a UK/IU rivalry, it'll also bring that classic feel to college basketball. It's just good for the sport. Dumping Crean would be a horrible move and just set IU back for several more years.  



Since: Feb 10, 2007
Posted on: June 28, 2011 2:15 pm
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

And yes...I realize it is not a non-conference game.



Since: Feb 10, 2007
Posted on: June 28, 2011 2:14 pm
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

This is just riveting guys, but really, give it a rest.  I for one will probably not watch 4 Xavier games all year.  I will, however, watch West Virginia vs Pitt and the 100+ fouls that will occur.  Along with coin chucking, beer throwing, couch burning, fist fighting action that goes on around the game.  It's quite an entertaining matchup.  I realize nobody outside of WV and Pitt really care about this matchup, but if you are looking for a good fight (notice I didn't say game), then check this one out!



Since: Oct 7, 2010
Posted on: June 28, 2011 1:57 pm
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

Dr. Steve Green
Dr. Steve Ahlfeld
Dr. Frank Wilson

Do you need anything else?

And no I am not a racist!

IU - 5
u of l - 2




Since: Sep 19, 2007
Posted on: June 28, 2011 1:55 pm
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

Dr Steve Green  1976 National Champion team



Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: June 28, 2011 1:38 pm
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

Oh and one other thing - you are a racist...



Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: June 28, 2011 1:37 pm
 

Top 20 non-conference games in 2011-12

Please name just 1 IU basketball player who has become a doctor LOL...


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