Basketball Nonconference Schedule Set, Challenging Comment Count

Brian July 15th, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Scottie Reynolds[1]NCAA%20San%20Diego%20St%20Arizona%20Basketball-2[1]smb_090313_dn_uconnwin[1]

Your basketball nonconference schedule:

Date Opponent Location
Mon., Nov. 10 vs. Wayne State ex home
Sat., Nov. 15 vs. Hillsdale College home
Mon., Nov. 17 TBD home
Thu., Nov. 20 TBD home
Mon., Nov. 24 VCU or Oregon (2) neutral
Tue., Nov. 25 vs. Villanova (2) neutral
Sat., Nov. 29 vs. Nicholls State home
Tue., Dec. 2 vs. Syracuse (2) home
Sat., Dec. 6 vs. NJIT home
Tue., Dec. 9 vs. Eastern Michigan home
Sat., Dec. 13 at Arizona away
Sat., Dec. 20 vs. SMU home
Mon., Dec. 22 vs. Coppin State home

The TBDs are opening round opponents for Michigan's fake tournament (unlike the preseason NIT, the small schools in this tourney cannot advance). You'll note that it makes no sense to have the "OR" game first; I imagine Michigan is just throwing those names out there until such time as the tournament is set

There's good and bad here: two of VCU/Oregon/Villanova plus Syracuse, Arizona, and SMU is a five-game stretch that should put to bed any schedule concerns. They've got enough firepower to expect to win at least a couple of those, too—which should put them in better position than they were last year entering conference play.

Unfortunately, Michigan continues buying the cheapest games they possibly can to fill out the rest of the schedule, to their detriment. Kenpom rankings of the filler here: 293, 139 (EMU), 312, 290 plus nonexistent (Hillsdale) and probably real bad (the two home games for the tourney). NJIT in particular is a team that should be avoided at all costs, a joke program that's not even in a conference. I get scheduling Eastern, as they're 1) local and 2) half-decent under Rob Murphy.

Various MEAC teams and SWAC teams may be standard practice, but they're games that are horrible to watch. It may not move the needle for people watching on TV; for ticketholders a team like Bradley is much more appealing. Nobody likes a snuff film.



July 16th, 2014 at 2:02 AM ^

To be a top 15 team. Their shitty non conference schedule is the only reason why they missed the NCAA tourney. They were arguably deserving of a NCAA bid.

They return everybody. If they had Mudiay, they'd be a top 5-10 team. Even with him going pro, they're a top 25 team.

Should be a tougher game than expected bc of their name but real college bball fans know it's going to be a great matchup


July 15th, 2014 at 5:58 PM ^

I don't understand why schools don't see that they should schedule the champions of, say, the Patriot League rather than the dregs of the Patriot League.  You have to play the good bad teams, man, not the bad bad teams.  The RPI hit you take from the 300-ish teams is a self-inflicted wound (assuming you did not try and fail to get better teams). 

G. Gulo of the Dale

July 15th, 2014 at 6:04 PM ^

As an alumnus of both Hillsdale and Villanova--and, of course, a lifelong UM fan--I couldn't be happier about this slate.  I actually have no idea how I'm going to feel when the games begin, as I'm used to rooting passionately for one team or feeling largely indifferent on account of having no particular allegiance.  Hopefully tickets for the opener won't be too difficult to come by, since Hillsdale is only a D-II school.  

G. Gulo of the Dale

July 16th, 2014 at 1:15 PM ^

While the game is Michigan's opener, it's actually being considered an exhibition for Hillsdale:  the "you can beat me up if you don't actually count this as a loss for us" principle.  Hillsdale has some size but they don't tend to employ it offensively, and they aren't overly athletic.   During the Coach Tharp years they seem to have moved towards recruiting guys that can stretch the floor, and they rely heavily on ball rotation and jump shooting; like all such teams, they can look great when they are knocking them down.  They penetrate almost exclusively as a means of setting up a jumper, and they rarely post up.  Expect a lot of hustle and three pointers.  

Also, Hillsdale played IU and MSU in similar circumstances the last two years.  I believe they played MSU to a draw through the first twenty minutes and ended up losing by about twenty.  They jumped out to an early lead against last year's IU team but were thoroughly dismantled in the end by a 40 point margin. 

G. Gulo of the Dale

July 16th, 2014 at 10:33 AM ^

I did chuckle at that remark... but let's just say that a great majority of the student/faculty body would be none too pleased with that choice of mascot.  This is bit too reductionistic, but the school tends to be more "Limbaugh" on the outside and "Virgil/Aristotle/Shakespeare/etc." on the inside.



July 15th, 2014 at 6:21 PM ^

i live just miles from the NJIT yet did not previously know that it existed, no less that it had a basketball team.


July 15th, 2014 at 7:42 PM ^

1. What makes the Wayne State game an "exhibition" assuming that is what the "ex" denotes.

2. Didn t NJIT used to be called Stevens Tech? Around these parts (NY/NJ) the official name was Stevens -Hoboken Institute of Technology which many smart Akeem's simply shortened to SHIT. Really. Could account for the name change.

Franz Schubert

July 16th, 2014 at 12:37 AM ^

How Michigan continues to fail in scheduling for RPI. Michigan played the 2nd toughest OOC schedule last year but because of the 250+ RPI teams we played it made our RPI look only good, not great. It's not complicated, schedule a bunch of 125-175 teams and it will boost the RPI tremendously. The importance of seeding and perception is huge, how is this not being prioritized?

Generic MGoBlogger

July 16th, 2014 at 4:01 AM ^

Okay... I'm ready for college basketball...

This actually seems like a later start than usual. I think our first exhibition was in late October last season and the opener was on November 8.  Hopefully football still has me intrigued by then and not calling for anyone's head on the coaching staff.


July 16th, 2014 at 7:45 AM ^

To give some context to "nonexistent":

  • 316 Hillsdale
  • 330 Coppin
  • 349 Nicholls
  • 375 NJIT

Unlike football there are enough cross-division games in basketball to give this some validity, although Massey treats the preseason exhibitions as if they were regular games, which maybe skews the lower divisions higher a bit.

There's a lot of overlap between divisions--the D2 champions were 146 (about a point better than EMU) and the D3 champions were 241.


July 16th, 2014 at 8:35 AM ^

Really crack me up about the schedule. One of the toughest schedules in the nation and people want more. This isn't football, B1G is arguably the best conference year in and year out.


July 16th, 2014 at 9:13 AM ^

I grew up right next to Hillsdale.  Hope we crush 'em.

Overall quite a difficult schedule, 'Nova, Syracuse, Arizona, SMU.. pretty impressive actually.

EQ RC Blue

July 16th, 2014 at 11:26 AM ^

This is likely not about getting cheap home games, but a clear scheduling preference by Beilien and co.  You have a young team, you want some opportunities to build confidence, try different things in game settings, etc.  While the overall RPI might take a small hit, playing teams in the 190s vs the 290s doesn't affect how many top 50 or top 100 RPI wins you have.  And with the B1G being so good, the end of year RPI is always high if you do well.  The marginal difference in overall RPI might not make the increased chance of losing one of those games worth it if you're trying to game it out.  But it seems to me it's just a clear choice by the coaching staff: in the nonconf they want (1) big-time games and (2) games the team is going to win by 20 pts, and that's about it.


July 16th, 2014 at 2:34 PM ^

For any team in the Big Ten, strength of schedule isn't going to be an issue.   The only reason to worry about it is if you think Mkihigan is going to be a "bubble team."  Since the eventual winner is usually a 4 seed or better, I don't get excited for a team that squeaks into the tournament.

I like setting up as many tomato cans as possible for a young team to get them acclimated and get some victories under their belt.  They can develop the habit of winning in time for the Big Ten schedule.